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Police: WSU Quarterback Tyler Hilinski Dead from Apparent Suicide

On Tuesday, Washington State football player Tyler Hilinski, who was 21, was found dead inside a Pullman, Washington apartment, said police.

The Cougars’ quarterback is believed to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. According to law enforcement a suicide note and rifle were found next to the body.

Officers had been responding to Hilinski’s apartment to carry out a welfare check. This followed reports that he did not arrive at practice earlier on Tuesday.

In a prepared statement, Cougars head coach Mike Leach said the players and coaches were all deeply saddened by the news of Tyler’s passing. Leach added that Hilinski was a superb young man and all those who were privileged to have known him are better for it. Leach’s statement concluded by saying the entire community at WSU mourns while prayers go out to his family.

The 21-year old Hilinksi was a native of Claremont, California and just completed his sophomore season with the Cougars. He was the starter in Holiday Bowl Washington State played in last month. He was also expected to start at quarterback this fall for the team.

John Johnson, Washington State’s interim athletic director, released a statement that said the tragic news surrounding Tyler has devastated everyone. He was a great person, friend and teammate and will be missed. The statement by the AD added that the team was called together and told of Hilinski’s death. At the meeting, players were met by campus counseling and psychological services’ workers including a clinical psychologist and other members of the medical team at WSU.

Ryan, the younger brother of Hilinksi, is a quarterback prospect who is highly regarded. He issued a statement on Tuesday.




In the statement he said the entire family was grieving after receiving the news. The statement added the family was in disarray and complete shock. Ryan added that this brother put a smile on the face of everyone he met and we will be mourning his loss for a long time, but celebrate how he lived life every day.

This past football season, Hilinski played in eight games for the Cougars. He ended the season with 1,175 passing yards and seven TDs. During the season’s second week he rallied the Cougars from a deficit of 21 points during the fourth quarter to defeat Boise State in triple overtime 47-44. In the game, Hilinksi took over for the starting quarterback. He ended the game with 240 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Many WSU players and students were on social media following the news of Hilinski’s death posting comments about him.

Authorities did not discuss the contents of the letter found next to Hilinski’s body.

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