PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the USC Trojans talks with John Saunders after the 95th Rose Bowl Game game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2009 in Pasadena, California. The Trojans defeated the Nittany Lions 38-24. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

ESPN announces replacement for late broadcaster John Saunders

John Saunders had been with the network since 1992.

The sports media world was struck with tragedy earlier this month with the news that legendary ESPN broadcaster John Saunders passed away at the age of 61. Saunders had been with ESPN since 1986 and established himself as a prominent voice on ESPN's college football Saturdays. Most recently a studio host during coverage of the College Football Playoff, Saunders started with ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor.

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Following Saunders' passing, ESPN now has found his replacement for College Football Playoff coverage. On Thursday, it was announced that ESPN's Stan Verrett will replace Saunders for college football Saturday coverage on ABC this fall. Here's an excerpt from the network's official release.

"John Saunders was a mentor and friend who helped me navigate my career at ESPN and was always ready with a kind word and timely advice," said Verrett. "His easy manner and comfortable style welcomed college football fans every week for years on ESPN and ABC. He was a fantastic host.

"There's a tremendous legacy there, and I am both humbled and excited to have the opportunity to add to it."

Verrett, who has worked for ESPN since 2000 and most notably anchors the 1 a.m. ET edition ofSportsCenter from Los Angeles, will work alongside college football analysts Mack Brown and Mark May for pre and postgame, as well as halftime wraps. ABC college football studio coverage will continue to air out of ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn."

Verrett  joined ESPN as an anchor for ESPNEWS in September 2000, and moved to the company's new Los Angeles Production Facility in March 2009 to co-host the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter with Neil Everett.

Click here to read ESPN's full release.