ESPN announced Wednesday that longtime announcer John Saunders has passed away. He was 61 and is survived by wife Wanda and daughters Aleah and Jenna.

The network did not list a cause of death in a statement released Wednesday morning. According to ESPN’s Jemele Hill and Jay Harris, Saunders attended the National Association of Black Journalists’ conference in Washington last week, and others who were at the conference seemed to suggest that he showed no signs of illness.

Saunders, a Canada native, joined ESPN in 1986 and has been one of the faces of the network, helming its college football studio show that aired on ABC and hosting “The Sports Reporters,” its journalist roundtable that has been a Sunday-morning staple for years. He also hosted “SportsCenter” and the network’s college basketball and Stanley Cup finals coverage.

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “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 evidenced 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.”

The remembrances started pouring in almost immediately following the announcement of his death. Nearly everyone who worked with Saunders, it seems, remembers him fondly.