Legendary play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson has passed away at the age of 89.
Jackson was viewed by many as the voice of college football, as the legendary ABC Sports play-by-play announcer called games for more than 50 years.
Jackson’s family said that he died late on Friday night.
Jackson got his start in broadcasting in 1952, where he called Washington State games for radio. From there on, Jackson’s voice would become one of the most iconic in all of sports. He was best known for his common expressions, such as “big uglies” and “Whoa Nellie.” In addition, Jackson is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl “The Granddaddy of Them All” and Michigan Stadium “The Big House.”
Jackson has some of the best calls in Big Ten football history, including his infamous “Hello Heisman” call when Michigan’s Desmond Howard returned a punt for a touchdown against Ohio State in 1991.
We are saddened to hear of Keith Jackson's passing.
An absolute icon, he was the Voice of the Rose Bowl and so many #B1G moments.
His calls, including this one, will live on forever. pic.twitter.com/zbE01ZxSfn
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 13, 2018
That is just one of his many great calls of Michigan football.
What’s more, Jackson even opened Nebraska’s traditional Tunnel Walk for a period of time.
In addition to college football, Jackson was the first play-by-play announcer for ABC’s Monday Night Football and was a staple on the television show Wide World of Sports. Jackson called 10 Olympics, and also called MLB, NBA and college basketball games.
Jackson retired in 2006. His final game was the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and USC. The thrilling game ended in favor of Texas, as it defeated USC 41-38 to win the national championship.
Jackson was awarded with many honors throughout his career, including being named the National Sportscaster of the Year five times.
Here are some reactions to Jackson’s passing:
Just heard the news that everyone’s favorite CFB broadcaster Keith Jackson passed away last night. Can close my eyes and think of so many of his special calls. Thank you Keith for all the memories and the grace in which you provided them. RIP Keith. 🙏🏼 #GOAT
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) January 13, 2018
An iconic call from an iconic broadcaster.
We remember Keith Jackson with one of his most memorable calls. pic.twitter.com/Hl8b1mrigy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 13, 2018
Keith Jackson was the voice of college football and our childhoods. He was 89. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2018
This was Keith Jackson’s intro to the 100th game between Ohio State and Michigan in 2003. Still gives me chills. pic.twitter.com/DmfGemnhoY
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) January 13, 2018
— IMG Audio (@IMGAudio) January 13, 2018