WSU campus mourns the loss of Tyler Hilinski

WSU campus mourns the loss of Tyler Hilinski

Members of the Washington State community gathered on campus Wednesday to mourn the loss of 21-year-old Tyler Hilinski, a quarterback on the Cougars football team who took his own life Tuesday.

A small memorial was held for Hilinski at the Cougar Pride statue located in front of Martin Stadium. Flowers rest against the statue, along with Cougar flags, apparel, and hand-written signs as the community struggles to understand what led the Claremont, Calif., native to take his own life.

“You always see Tyler on campus or during football games and he always has a smile on his face,” said WSU student Breven Stevenson. “He is not the type of guy to put a frown on, but you don’t know what he’s going through.”

“He is always just a great kid. Super nice, funny, and it’s just sad but you never know,” said student Daniel O’Brien, who shares sports management and economics classes with Hilinski.

Students who didn’t know Hilinski learned of his death through social media as the news broke from current and former teammates on Twitter before the Pullman Police Department released an official statement on his death.

“I was kind of just shocked,” said O’Brien. “Kind of heartbroken just because I see him every week throughout my day. Just knowing how nice he was and how he was a great student, you don’t expect (that news).”

“We could hear a lot of people talking about it around us at the restaurant and the energy changed,” said student Bailey Cornett. “It just was really quiet all of the sudden and even this morning on campus it was just really hard on everyone.”

ASWSU President Jordan Frost says his team is working on a public vigil for students to come together and remember Hilinski’s life. No date has been announced for that vigil as Frost says they’re waiting for final details to be sensitive to the Hilinski family.

Good morning family. My team is currently working on a public vigil for Cougs to come together and remember Tyler’s life and heal together. Stay tuned for details on date, time, and location. We are waiting for final details to be sensitive to the Hilinski family.

— Jordan Frost (@ASWSU_Pres) January 17, 2018