NEW YORK (AP) -- Keith Jackson thinks this is the right time for him to retire.
Jackson, widely regarded as the voice of college football, has decided to stop broadcasting games.
"I'm finished with play-by-play forever," he told The New York Times, which first reported his retirement.
Jackson spent some 40 years calling the action in a folksy, down-to-earth manner that made him one of the most popular play-by-play personalities in the business.
"Keith Jackson is a man of great character and a legendary broadcaster. For decades, his unmistakable style defined college football for millions of fans," George Bodenheimer, the president of ESPN and ABC Sports, said in a statement Thursday. "While we hate to say goodbye, we understand his decision and wish him the very best."
Jackson also announced he would retire after the 1998 season, but ended up continuing with ABC Sports. He said this time is different.
"This is the perfect time," Jackson told the newspaper. "I don't want to get back into the pressure cooker of play-by-play and worry about travel. I don't want to die in a stadium parking lot."
Jackson, 77, began calling college football games with ABC in 1966. He also worked NBA, NFL games and the Olympics, but was always best known for college football.
An ABC Sports executive said they tried to keep Jackson, but respect his decision.