It’s been three months since Keith Jackson passed away at age 89, and on Sunday, he finally got a proper send off at the only location (other than Pullman) that made any real sense.
More than 400 people gathered at the Rose Bowl on a sunny Sunday afternoon to say their final goodbyes to the iconic voice of college football who also is one of the most famous and revered alumni of Washington State University.
As you might expect, Cougs played a large role in the proceedings, starting with a contingent of the marching band:
WSU's band plays at the Rose Bowl in preparation for Keith Jackson's celebration of life. pic.twitter.com/2vYbxIK8rs— Bruce Pinkleton (@Bruce_Pinkleton) April 15, 2018
The band also led off the ceremony with the Star Spangled Banner.
Jason Gesser delivered a tribute on behalf of WSU, saying, “His impact on WSU was and will always be legendary. In my mind he sits atop WSU lore as one of, if not the, most impactful person to ever come through Washington State University. He holds that front spot on a WSU’s Mount Rushmore. I feel truly honored and blessed to have known him as a mentor and friend, as he truly is an amazing person.”
What an iconic event that took place at the @RoseBowlStadium yesterday, as we celebrated the life of @WSUCougars very own Keith Jackson. So honored and proud to have such great representation & involvement from WSU at the event. Keith will be truly missed. #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/hb1bFcAiu2— Jason Gesser (@jasongesser) April 16, 2018
Of course, there were many others who shared their fond memories of Jackson, both in the video tribute at the top, in person, and in pre-recorded video messages.
“Keith was our Walter Cronkite of sports broadcasting,” said Basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale, who worked the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics with Jackson. “He’s trustworthy, accurate and totally respected.”
Most remembered Jackson for his life-long humility and unique, understated broadcast style that was the perfect tempo for Saturday afternoon broadcasts from college campuses.
“Keith was the original,” fellow broadcaster Al Michaels said. “Not an original. There will never be another one like him.”