Even though he now wears a tie instead of a jersey, Tyler is still on the move. The team plays 72 games a year and travels for 36 of those games.
When you’re always on the run, things get left behind. For Tyler, 22, that was his four-year degree. He had earned an associate’s degree but wanted the additional opportunities and income that a bachelor’s would bring. So he thought back to his high school days:More...
“All my friends from Shadle Park and North Central high schools were headed to WSU,” he said. “I had always wanted to be a Cougar but never had that option because I was pursuing my hockey career.”
In fall 2014, Tyler found that option. He enrolled in WSU’s online program, the Global Campus, and is on track to become the first in his family to earn a degree.
“I don’t want to struggle like we did growing up,” he said. “That’s really why I’m earning my degree, to provide myself and my family a comfortable lifestyle free of monetary worry.”
With Wi-Fi on the bus and in hotels, Tyler’s travel time is now study time. “I have studied in every western province in Canada as far east as Brandon, Manitoba,” he said. “There has been a lot of studying done on those Canadian prairies.”
Tyler is majoring in social sciences, and considering either advancing as a coach or working as a law enforcement officer or firefighter—preferably something that doesn’t involve sitting in an office.
His home base is in Renton, Wash. He lives with his girlfriend and is putting off marriage—despite her hints, he says—because he wants more financial security before settling down. But a wedding may not be far off, judging by her persuasiveness: “She sends me a picture of a little dog at least once a day,” he said, “just to let me know she wants a puppy.”