Vikings community mourns the passing of AJ Schlatter

Editor’s UPDATE Jan. 22, 2016, 7:30 PM: The Portland State Stott Center will host a celebration of the life of AJ Schlatter on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. According to a press statement released by PSU Athletics, the Schlatter family has asked anyone with a photo of AJ to consider bringing it with a signature or note on the back.

At the request of the Schlatter family, the PSU Foundation has also set up a memorial fund to support a football scholarship at the university. Donation information is available at the PSU Foundation website.

According to a press release issued Monday by

Portland State linebacker AJ Schlatter passed away at home on Sunday evening due to a complication following minor throat surgery.

A native of Canby, OR, Schlatter came to PSU as a walk-on. Known for being an outstanding student and committed athlete, he earned a full scholarship with the football program through his hard work and dedication.

“My heart is with the Schlatter family. They are our focus right now,” said Viking Head Coach Bruce Barnum in Monday’s press release. “We lost a diamond that will never be replaced. He was the definition of what we are about at PSU.”

Schlatter started 10 games for the Vikings in 2015, receiving Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Vikings’ win over Eastern Washington on Nov. 21.

Schlatter grew up in a family with strong ties to the Viking athletic tradition. His mother, Terri Jo, is a member of the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame and his father, Jim, spent time as an assistant football coach for the Vikings during the 1980s. Schlatter’s sister Garyn recently graduated from PSU and was a standout volleyball player for the Vikings; his sister Kasey played volleyball at Montana State, a fellow member in the Big Sky program.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Schlatter family with all the compassion and sympathy we can bring to bear during this difficult time,” said Director of Athletics Mark Rountree in the statement released Monday.

“Things like this aren’t supposed to happen. We cherish every student’s well-being, and the loss of AJ will be tough on our family. He represented his family and [PSU] with passion, courage, and humility that made us all proud. He will be missed.”

Schlatter was 20 years old.

Further details and memorial arrangements are yet to come.