A member of the ESPN family has been lost as legendary broadcaster and commentator John Saunders died at the age of 61 Wednesday.

ESPN Senior Director of Communications Keri Potts confirmed the sad news Wednesday:

Saunders worked for ESPN for nearly 30 years, as he joined the network in 1986. During his career with the network, Saunders covered numerous live sports including college basketball, the NHL, Major League Baseball and even the WNBA. Saunders also worked countless studio jobs for the network – most notable as a host of ABC’s college football coverage.

Upon hearing the news, President of ESPN John Skipper released the following statement, via ESPN.com:

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades.”

“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.”

Several of Saunders’ college football colleagues have reacted to the news via Twitter: