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Legendary college football broadcaster Keith Jackson dies at 89

Legendary college football broadcaster Keith Jackson dies at 89

Keith Jackson, nearly without question the most famous announcer in college football history, died on Friday night.

His resume includes stints in nearly every major sport and the Olympics but he will be remembered mostly for the time he spent announcing college football games and specifically, 15 Rose Bowls and 16 Sugar Bowls.

Jackson's last game was a memorable one as it was the 2006 Rose Bowl, with Vince Young leading Texas past Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.

Jackson announced he would retire from college football play-by-play after the 1998 season, but he ended up continuing with ABC Sports.

Jackson worked on ABC's Wide World of Sports and also covered Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and 10 Olympic Games. He attended Washington State College with the intent to study police and political science, but graduated in 1954 with a degree in broadcast journalism, learning his trade in the same studios that produced Edward R. Murrow, among others in the broadcast industry.

He is credited with coining the phrase "The Big House" for Michigan Stadium and calling the Rose Bowl "the Granddaddy of them all".

Jackson spent the final 11 years of his life at home in California with his wife Turi Ann.

Jackson was known most for his distinctive phrases, such as "Whoa, Nellie!" after an exciting play, and "swappin' paint", to describe the battle between offensive and defensive linemen.

The Rose Bowl named their radio and television spaces after Jackson in 2015.

The sports world, including Jackson's alma mater, Washington State University, were quick to mourn him. "And that was one of the things that I most admired about him".

Jackson grew up near Carrollton, Ga., picking cotton and plowing his poor family's farm. Sadly, that voice in longtime ABC Sports announcer, Keith Jackson went silent forever early Saturday.

"This is the flawless time", Jackson told The New York Times in May 2006.

But Jackson's major interest was always college football.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

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