Longtime ESPN host John Saunders has died at the age of 61.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades. His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
Saunders joined ESPN from WMAR in Baltimore in 1986. He started his TV career at CKNY in Ontario before moving to ATV News in New Brunswick. Before joining WMAR, he worked at CITY-TV in Toronto.
Most recently, Saunders was the host of ABC’s college football coverage and some editions of College Football Live and college basketball studio coverage on ESPN. He also hosted The Sports Reporters on Sunday morning and NFL highlights on SportsCenter on Sunday nights during football.