NEW YORK — John Saunders, the versatile sportscaster who has hosted ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” for the last 15 years, has died, the network announced Wednesday. He was 61.
Saunders joined ESPN in 1986. The Canadian did play-by-play, led NHL Stanley Cup and World Series coverage on ESPN and ABC, and hosted studio shows for baseball, college football and college basketball.
A cause of death was not announced.
“This tragic news brings us unspeakable sorrow. John was the patriarch of our family, and we can’t believe he is gone,” Saunders family said in a statement. “We are sincerely touched by the outpouring of support and sadness, which is a reflection of the character and integrity that defined him.
“While we don’t yet have all the specifics, John wasn’t feeling well physically in recent days and sadly, he was unresponsive earlier this morning. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers for our cherished father, husband, brother and uncle.”