Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday, according to Pullman, WA police. He was 21.
Pullman officers arrived at Hilinski’s apartment for a welfare check after he didn’t show up at the team’s practice earlier in the day, and found him “deceased in the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.” A rifle and suicide note were recovered next to Hilinski.
Pullman PD has confirmed Tyler Hilinski's demise. pic.twitter.com/c83GNV74ZY
— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) January 17, 2018
Hilinski, a redshirt sophomore in 2017, just made his first career start for Washington State in the Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl against Michigan State, completing 39-of-50 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns. He played in eight games on the season, and was expected to compete for the Cougars’ starting quarterback position in 2018.
“Shoot, I was just playing football out there, surrounded by a great group of guys,” Hilinski said. “They told me they have faith in me. I was ready to do my job.”
Washington State head coach Mike Leach and athletic director John Johnson released statements regarding Hilinski.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing. 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” – Coach Leach regarding Tyler Hilinski
— WSU Cougar Football (@wsucougfb) January 17, 2018
— WSU Cougars (@WSUCougars) January 17, 2018