Police: Washington State safety Bryce Beekman found dead

Police: Washington State safety Bryce Beekman found dead
Bryce Beekman #26 of Washington State tackling Richard Newton #28 of the Washington Huskies during the 2019 Apple Cup. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State senior defensive back Bryce Beekman has died.

Police Cmdr. Jake Opgenorth said Wednesday the 22-year-old Beekman was found dead at a residence in Pullman. He declined to provide additional details and said more information would be released later by the Whitman County coroner’s office.

Beekman started all 13 games last season for Washington State after transferring from Arizona Western College. He finished fifth on the team with 60 tackles and one interception. He was expected to be part of an experienced Washington State secondary going into this season.

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Teammates took to social media late Tuesday and early Wednesday expressing their sadness and condolences. Washington State's program is barely two years removed from the suicide of quarterback Tyler Hilinski in January 2018.

"Cherish your loved ones. Every second matters," wrote offensive lineman Liam Ryan.

“We are in shock with the news of Bryce’s passing,” WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun said in a news release. “Bryce was a tremendous young man, great teammate and will be missed by all. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many friends.

“My relationship with Bryce was still in its early stages, but I knew him to be a wonderful young man,” WSU head coach Nick Rolovich, who informed the team of the news Tuesday night, said. “He was always positive and well respected amongst his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Rolovich, in a conference call with reporters earlier Tuesday, said the majority of players had stayed in their hometowns following spring break. Washington State has moved to an online/remote learning platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring football practice, originally scheduled to start this week, has been postponed.

But Rolovich said a few players had returned to Pullman.

“I would say the majority of them are back home with their families,” Rolovich said.