Keith Jackson

Washington State alumnus Keith Jackson smiles after raising the Cougar flag before the start of an NCAA college football game against Portland State on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

Associated Press

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — Keith Jackson, the down-home voice of college football during more than five decades as a broadcaster, has died. He was 89.

He died Friday and 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.

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.

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