Longtime ESPN broadcaster John Saunders has died, the network announced on Wednesday. He was 61.
Saunders died Wednesday morning. The cause of Saunders' passing was not immediately known, ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys told USA TODAY Sports. Saunders, a native of Canada, had worked at ESPN since 1986 and was one of the network’s most visible and respected anchors.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen.
Saunders most recently served as the host of ABC’s Saturday college football coverage, along with ESPN’s college football and college basketball studio shows. He had been the host of ESPN’s weekly roundtable show The Sports Reporters since December 2011.
Saunders was one of ESPN’s most versatile talents. He did play-by-play for college basketball and WNBA games. Beyond college football and basketball, Saunders also anchored the network’s coverage of NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and Major League Baseball.
Saunders was a hockey player before he went into broadcasting. He was an all-star defenseman as a youth in Montreal and attended Western Michigan on a hockey scholarship.
Source: USA tODAY