Longtime ESPN commentator John Saunders dies at 61

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: ESPN host John Saunders speaks on stage at the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: ESPN host John Saunders speaks on stage at the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

ESPN reported Wednesday morning that longtime commentator John Saunders has died. He was 61.

The cause of death has not been released.

His death came as a surprise to colleagues and fans.

Saunders worked for ESPN for nearly 30 years, covering college football, basketball and hockey, according to the network. Saunders did play-by-play coverage and served as an anchor on SportsCenter.

Saunders is survived by a wife and two daughters.