Family of former WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski releases statement

The family of former Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski, who was found dead from suicide in January, released this statement on

Our Dearest Cougs and Football Families:

From the bottom of our broken hearts, we are writing today to thank you all for your outpouring of love and support, words of kindness and encouragement, and most of all, the amazing amount of love you've shown for our son Tyler.

From the spring games to the fall scrimmages and camps and the games every weekend ... in class and around town ... he was touched by all of you. And so are we. Please accept this note as a very small thank you on behalf of the entire Hilinski family for every text, email, card, flower, prayer, poem and dollar raised in support of keeping Tyler's memory alive. It is important to us that we tell you how much this means to us and will continue to help support us in the darkest days ahead. Let them never stop.

Most of you probably never got to know all the little things about Tyler that touched so many people, but I suspect you must have seen a few: His sense of humor, his gentle nature and his ferocious loyalty, his fearless play and his love for his team. He loved his family and he loved being a Coug. That was Tyler. He came to Pullman to go to join a bigger family. He was adopted by you; he was loved down in Lewiston and up in Spokane and out to Seattle … and even on the road … Pullman was his new home. He wanted to make his Cougs everywhere proud. However brief his time was with us, he made the most of it.

Our "comeback kid" always expected good things to happen. He believed in you and the power of "Go Cougs." There was always enough time on the clock to make one more play. He wanted us all to be happy and good to each other. We were so proud of the man he was becoming. Far from perfect, but as close to trying as they come. He was so excited to show you that this year.

We wish we could tell you what happened. The reality is we simply don't know. He didn't quit. He didn't give up on you. For some reason, he had no choice but to leave us. Don't waste a second thinking he was weak. People leave for many reasons. We will spend a lifetime trying to understand this. Don't be mad or angry; he didn't do this to you or to us. He was not well in a way not one of us knew. He fought bravely … but ultimately, he lost alone.