Keith Jackson, who is often referred to as “the voice of college football,” died Friday night at age 89, according to ESPN.
No cause was given in a statement Saturday by ESPN. Jackson’s longtime employer was ABC Sports.
Jackson covered many sports, but he was best known for college football. His signature phrases like “Whoa, Nelly!” gave his game calls a familiar feel.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger says Jackson “was college football” for generations of fans.
“For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football,” Bob Iger, the Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, told ESPN. “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.”
Current and former players expressed their condolences on Twitter Saturday, with Dallas’ Tim Brown even calling Jackson “the fabric of college football.”
— Tim Brown (@81TimBrown) January 13, 2018
THE voice of college football and one of the most iconic voices of all time, RIP Keith Jackson. Thank you for all of the incredible Saturday’s.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 13, 2018
Keith Jackson was the voice of college football. Rest In Peace my friend 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/2YcAaRKoan
— Marcus Allen (@MarcusAllenHOF) January 13, 2018
The National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association named Jackson National Sportscaster of the Year five times throughout his career, ESPN reported.
Jackson retired after the 2006 Rose Bowl and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Jackson was a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, California, and Pender Harbor, British Columbia. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Turi Ann.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.