ABC/ESPN college football host John Saunders died Wednesday morning, the network has confirmed. Saunders was 61 years old. No cause of death has been released, although it was believed he had been ill and that his death was unexpected.
Saunders originally joined ESPN in 1986 as an anchor on SportsCenter and he did some play by play work. He is mostly remembered for being the studio host for ESPN and ABC’s coverage of NCAA football and basketball as well as the Sunday morning journalism round table show, The Sports Reporters.
John Saunders, ESPN College Football Host, Dies at 61
ESPN President John Skipper released a statement about Saunders; “ John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades.” Skipper also pointed out that Saunders was board member for The V Foundation, the cancer research initiative named after former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano.
Saunders is survived by his wife and two daughters.
ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY – APRIL 07: Basketball top analyst Dick Vitale and John Saunders attends the 2016 New Jersey Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Asbury Park Convention Center on April 7, 2016 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)