Tyler Hilinski, 21, has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Pullman Police confirmed in a press release Tuesday night. The death of Hilinski, a redshirt sophomore quarterback for Washington State, has been ruled a suicide.
"A rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found," Pullman Police said in a release. "Detectives and the Whitman County Coroner's Office are conducting a thorough investigation to confirm the suspected cause and manner of death."
Hilinski appeared in 12 games over the last two seasons, starting the 2017 Holiday Bowl for the Cougars. He was expected to replace Luke Falk as the team's starter in 2018.
"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," said coach Mike Leach in a school release. "The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Athletic director John Johnson also released a statement: "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. 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.''