A mentor to many broadcasters and the voice they grew up listening to, Keith Jackson was college football.
Legendary college football announcer Keith Jackson died Friday night at 89.
He was considered by many to be the voice of college football, broadcasting the sport for 50-plus years. His iconic "Whoa Nellie" catchphrase was a regular part of Saturdays for years. He is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl, "The Granddaddy of Them All" and Michigan Stadium as the "Big House."
A mentor to many broadcasters and the voice they grew up listening to, Jackson defined college football.
So after news of Jackson's death became public, sports broadcasters and journalists paid tribute to him on Twitter.
Really sad to hear that the iconic Keith Jackson died last night. He was the soundtrack to so many of our Saturdays.— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) January 13, 2018
Keith Jackson was THE voice of college football for my generation and many before it. He made the big games feel bigger just by hearing his voice. RIP to the most iconic broadcasting voice the sport has ever heard.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 13, 2018
So sad to hear about Keith Jackson. He was sui generis among college football voices. Simply, the most iconic and memorable soundtrack ever to the game. And an incredible gentleman.— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) January 13, 2018
The voice of college football and so much more has left us. My mentor and dear friend, Keith Jackson passed last night surrounded by his family. Truly one of the greats in the broadcasting industry. I am grateful for my time with a true legend. Thank you for the lessons KJ. pic.twitter.com/SPGIZXrZNA— Todd Harris (@TheToddHarris) January 13, 2018
Having a hard time finding the right words to express what the icon Keith Jackson meant to me personally, Michigan football and CFB, in general. May his family find some comfort in knowing how much joy he brought us for so many years and that his legacy endures. #RIP #Legend pic.twitter.com/Q5CWRp9gmp— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) January 13, 2018
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
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
I remember making my first start @UW_Football in Husky Stadium against BYU. When my coach told me, I knew that Keith Jackson was calling the game. I never dreamt of the NFL. I wanted to play in @pac12— Nigel Burton (@CoachNBurton) January 13, 2018
& have Keith Jackson say "Nigel Burton a SOPH-A-MORR from Sacramento!" #RIP https://t.co/NLkV6ZH6ST
think about how much of the overall aesthetic of college football is tied to keith jackson's voice. he was that important.— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) January 13, 2018
If you're of a certain age, you grew up with Keith Jackson, with Whoa Nellie and the Grandaddy of them all. His voice was unmistakable on Saturday afternoons. Rest well, Keith Jackson.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) January 13, 2018
The reason play by play announcers tend to call college football games with an accent sounding as if it originated in Roopville, GA is because we want to sound like Keith Jackson.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) January 13, 2018
No one can or ever will.
This great and gracious man, an icon, died yesterday at 89.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Keith Jackson. He was the voice of college football. I will never forget attending an event as a young reporter covering Michigan, hearing his voice, thinking the TV was on and turning around to see him.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) January 13, 2018
Read a story about him from Sports Illustrated's Vault here.