PULLMAN — Bryce Beekman, a redshirt senior defensive back on Washington State’s football team, died Tuesday night in Pullman, Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth confirmed to The Spokesman-Review.
Details of the death, including the cause, were not immediately available to The Spokesman-Review and Opgenorth said the Whitman County Coroner’s Office would release more information soon. The coroner’s office didn’t immediately respond to a phone call from The Spokesman-Review Wednesday morning.
Beekman was 22 years old.
The safety from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, started in 13 games for the Cougars last season after transferring from Arizona Western College in Yuma, and was primed to return as one of the team’s top defensive playmakers this fall under new head coach Nick Rolovich.
Spring workouts in Pullman, originally scheduled to begin Friday, were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and athletic department officials planned to reevaluate the situation on April 2. WSU students were encouraged to stay at their permanent residence after spring break and Cougars coach Nick Rolovich told reporters Tuesday on a conference call the majority of his team had not returned to campus.
Beekman recently traveled home to Louisiana for spring break, posting a photo on March 14 from his younger brother’s state championship basketball game. Reece Beekman, a high school senior at Scotlandville Magnet High — the school Bryce also attended — won Outstanding Player honors in the Division I title game. Bryce attended and wore a white T-shirt, printed with a photo of the brothers and the words “Brothers Keeper.”
WSU players offered their condolences on social media late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning before news about Beekman’s death was confirmed.