A Different Kind of Sports Hero


Purdue super fan Tyler Trent inspired us all. Everyone who watches sports, whether a lot or a little, heard his story. It spread like wildfire and captured the nation. The 20-year-old Purdue sophomore suffering from bone cancer willed into existence the greatest upset of the college football season – a 48-20 win over then No. 2 Ohio State. It was the second largest margin of victory by an unranked team against a Top-2 opponent in college football history. In the process, Tyler gave us the greatest sports story of 2018.

In the weeks and months that followed, he received a letter from the White House, appeared on SportsCenter, NBA on TNT, and a number of local and national media outlets and radio stations. He won the Disney Spirit Award at the College Football Awards Show. Last week, the Colts flew him to Tennessee to be Purdue's captain in the Music City Bowl. And he met, touched, and inspired athletes and fans across all sports.

In December, Tyler – a sportswriter for the Purdue Exponent – wrote a guest column for the Indianapolis Star.

“Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be. To make the most of whomever comes to visit, texts, tweets or calls me…

Yet, isn’t that a choice we all have every day? After all, nobody knows the amount of days we have left. Some could say we are all in hospice to a certain degree.”

Yesterday, on the first day of 2019 and just a few days after the conclusion of Purdue’s 2018 season, Tyler Trent passed away.

It wasn’t an athletic talent that wowed the world. No, Tyler used his passion for sports in a different way. He was an aspiring sportswriter, a stats geek, a Purdue fan, and a Hoosier native… just like us. He cared about the story, the upset, and the underdog. In the end, he was all of them; he was the story, he called the upset, and he is the ultimate underdog.

RIP Tyler Trent, Purdue’s forever captain. Boiler Up.

All the way up...

Tom Rinaldi: Remembering Tyler Trent

Indy Star: How Tyler Trent Inspired a Nation

Justin Tangjanuary2019