Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, 21, was found dead on Tuesday from an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound.
PULLMAN — Hilinski did not attend practice and was later found in a Pullman, Washington apartment with a rifle and a suicide note near his body, according to the Pullman Police department.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing,” Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement. “He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
“The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinski is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends,” interim athletic director John Johnson said. “Earlier tonight, the football team was brought together and informed of the tragedy. There, they were met by campus and department counseling and psychological services, including athletics’ on-staff clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health counselor, along with WSU Athletics medical team. The university will continue to coordinate and provide ongoing counseling care for all student-athletes as long as needed.
Hilinski was the Cougars 2nd string quarterback for the majority of the season but appeared in 8 games this season throwing for 1,176 yards and seven touchdowns. His only career start came against Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl where he threw for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns in a loss to the Spartans.
His most memorable collegiate moment came in the Cougars second game when he led Washington State from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State 47-44 in triple overtime. Hilinski relieved starter Luke Falk to throw for 240 yards and three touchdowns, and was carried off the field after the comeback.
Hilinski, a Claremont, California native, was the projected starter for the 2018 season.
Rest in peace, Tyler.