Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski on Tuesday was found dead in his apartment of an apparent suicide, Pullman (Wash.) police confirmed in a press release to Washington media outlets.
Police went to his apartment after the quarterback failed to show up for practice. The 21-year-old junior-to-be was found “deceased in the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” the police statement said. “A rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found.”
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing,” Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement released on Twitter. “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.”
Hilinski was the backup and heir apparent to star quarterback Luke Falk in 2017. Hilinski showed his potential on Sept. 9 in Pullman when he was 25-for-33 for 240 yards and three touchdowns with one interception against Boise State. He came off the bench that night to direct the Cougars’ comeback from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to a 47-44, triple-overtime win.
Hilinski was from Claremont, Calif. He made his first career start last month in the Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State.