John Saunders, a well known and beloved announcer at ESPN since 1986, died Thursday morning. He was 61.

Saunders was best known for as the host of “Sports Reporters,” where he replaced the Dick Schaap in 2001.

ESPN president John Skipper issued the following statement:

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.

More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidence 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.

Many of his colleagues and friends took to Twitter to share their condolences and grief.

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