College football has lost one of its signature voices, as legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson passed away on Friday night at the age of 89.
Jackson called a number of iconic games, including his final game, the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and USC. Jackson was synonymous with the Rose Bowl and well known for his catchphrase, “Whoa Nellie.”
Jackson spent over 50 years working as a college football broadcaster, covering games as early as 1952. He worked at ABC from 1966 through 2006, where he rose to prominence as he usually called the biggest college football game of the week. Jackson called 15 Rose Bowls and 16 Sugar Bowls.
He also served as the announcer for the first season of Monday Night Football in 1970. Jackson also called a number of memorable baseball games in the 1970s and 80s. Jackson also called college basketball games with Dick Vitale.
“For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game. Keith was a true gentleman and a memorable presence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Turi Ann, and his family.”
Jackson is from Roopville, Ga., and is a graduate of Washington State University. While serving as an announcer, Jackson worked with the likes of Frank Broyles, Bud Wilkinson, Ara Parseghian, Lynn Swann and Dan Fouts, who served as color commentators.
You can hear Jackson’s call of the Texas-USC game below. It is widely regarded as one of the best moments in the history of college football, from the actual on-field play to Jackson’s narration of it.
We’ve also compiled a number of his other iconic calls.