Longtime ESPN Broadcaster John Saunders Dead at 61

John Saunders

Longtime ESPN broadcaster John Saunders died recently at the age of 61.

A cause of death was unknown at press time.

"This tragic news brings us unspeakable sorrow," Saunders' family said in a statement. "John was the patriarch of our family, and we can't believe he is gone. 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."

Saunders hosted studio and play-by-play programming, covering sports such as college football, basketball and the NHL.

He was a familiar on-air face for ESPN for nearly 30 years.