ESPN Personality John Saunders Dead at 61
John Saunders, a veteran on-air personality with ESPN, has passed away. He was 61.
It’s unclear how he died.
A Canadian native, Saunders worked in a variety of roles for the cable network, covering college football, basketball, baseball and hockey, as well as hosting the ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter. He also served as host of the Sunday morning show, The Sports Reporters.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “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, who was with ESPN since 1986, leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
His death hit the sports world hard, as evidenced by the tributes pouring in on social media.
I love John Saunders & I'll make the world know why! He personified the qualities we need more of! His hiring ESPN's greatest achievement.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) August 10, 2016
Just last night we had a Vault feature including John Saunders. I smiled at the sight of John, Bob & Boom together. This is gutting news.
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) August 10, 2016
I never met John Saunders but was always an admirer of his work. A huge loss.
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) August 10, 2016
I will miss my friend John Saunders. Talented. Generous. Kind. Too young.
— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) August 10, 2016
I just saw John Saunders Friday. He shared some kind words and asked how I was doing, as he always did. He was a mentor and role model. RIP
— stan verrett (@stanverrett) August 10, 2016
Profoundly sad. John Saunders was a friend to us all. He was the best of us. RIP to a pro's pro, a beautiful soul. https://t.co/GIxRZx2jpl
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 10, 2016
Praying for the family and loved ones of John Saunders! He was a staple in the world of sports broadcasting, and will be deeply missed!
— Greg Jennings (@GregJennings) August 10, 2016
Wow I am devastated with the news about my buddy John Saunders / A gr8 family man / just a fab guy RIP Love You pic.twitter.com/CuBIPu57Rz
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 10, 2016
RIP John Saunders. Thanks for being a mentor and class act. I will miss you dearly.
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) August 10, 2016