Last night was a rough one for Cougar fans everywhere. Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his Pullman apartment after an apparent suicide at just 21 years old.
WSU faithful from all over needed a place to grieve with fellow fans, and many of them found it on Twitter. A lot of people turned to the social networking site to give their thoughts on the events and give their memories of the young man who left us far sooner than he should have.
Below are some of those thoughts from fellow players, coaches and fans that were touched by Tyler Hilinski, both on the field and off.
We’ll start with former Cougar quarterback Ryan Leaf. His struggles are well documented, but he was able overcome them and now works as an ambassador for a rehab facility in Los Angeles.
I’m so fucking angry, I can’t stop crying. Every human life is precious. All I wish is that I could’ve been in that apt in Pullman, looked that amazing young man in the eyes & said you’re loved Tyler! I’m just like you & I’ve been here & there is hope, hugged him & never let go.— Ryan D Leaf (@RyanDLeaf) January 17, 2018
Spokesman Review beat writer Theo Lawson checked in with this recap of a heartbreaking interview he did with Hilinski’s mother following the team’s dramatic come from behind victory over Boise State.
Tyler Hilinski walked his mother back to her Marriott in Pullman after leading #WSU to a triple-overtime comeback victory over #BSU in September. This is how she recounted that moment to me a few days later - the true essence of Tyler, in my opinion. pic.twitter.com/8kQUAPUghF— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) January 17, 2018
You might remember that, last May, WSU DB Grant Porter was recognized by the city of Pullman for helping to prevent a man from committing suicide at a city park. He gave his unique perspective on Tuesday night.
Coaches, both current and former, also gave their thoughts on the tragic loss.
Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!— Roy Manning (@CoachRoyM) January 17, 2018
I am broken tonight, trying to find the words. I love you and will miss you my son. You brightened the lives of everyone around you! You brought more joy to this earth than you will ever know! May you Rest In Peace! #Ty3 pic.twitter.com/cHquUF5DZr— CoachKen Wilson WSU! (@CoachKWils) January 17, 2018
And some of the people that knew Tyler the best, his WSU teammates, also took time to remember the man they nicknamed “Klink.”
I’m speechless, was just with you 3 days ago man. Amazing person, friend, and teammate. Gone way too soon brother. May you Rest In Peace Klink. Love ya bro #3 pic.twitter.com/uAzAa42Q9K— River (@rivercracraft) January 17, 2018
So many ?’s. Not my little brother . This isn’t a post for likes this is a post to express my pain for not only myself but @Tyler_Hlinski9 family. My heart is hurting man and my condolences goes out to the family. I pray God gives us answers. #RIP3 #Bambi #GoCougs #KeepItGoing pic.twitter.com/cxiZ3tEmD4— Jeremiah Allison (@JeremiahMA8) January 17, 2018
Coolest guy I ever knew man it hurt me to my hart to know that your gone bro. Rest easy bro pic.twitter.com/A2hEMjog1T— Tavares Martin Jr (@ASAP_561) January 17, 2018
I love you Klink— Gabe Marks (@throwitupto9) January 17, 2018
I don’t think I can express what I’m feeling right now about the loss of my brother.
I love you #3
Tyler was such a great young man and teammate. It's shocking and heartbreaking to know he was dealing with so much in his head when he always had a smile and a joke ready for anyone walking into the room. Rest easy, brother. #RIP3— Carlos Freeman (@CarlosFreeman78) January 17, 2018
Cougar fans have also been showing their support. Late Tuesday night, fans and students started decorating the Cougar Pride statue in front of Martin Stadium, in honor of Hilinski.
If I missed any tributes to Hilinski, or if you have any memories yourself, feel free to share them in the comments below.
And, most importantly, if you need help or know someone that does, there are plenty of resources out there designed to help you. Washington State has a 24-hour hotline available for student at 509-335-2159, while staff and faculty can get assistance at the Employee Assistance Program at 1-877-313-4455. The national 24-hour hotline is available at 1-800-273-8255.