Washington State head football coach Nick Rolovich booted from job after refusing COVID-19 vaccination

News & Politics

Washington State University is dropping head football coach Nick Rolovich and several assistant coaches who it says are not in compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s order requiring state workers to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rolovich and assistant football coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann, and Mark Weber are said to not be in compliance with the governor’s proclamation, which prohibits state agencies from allowing workers to work after Monday if they have not gotten fully vaccinated.

A news release notes that the school “has initiated the separation process based on the terms of their respective contracts, effective immediately.”

Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will serve as interim head coach.

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Rolovich, who had sought a religious exemption to the mandate, was the state’s highest paid employee with earnings of over $3 million per year, according to the Associated Press. He didn’t specify his reasons for not getting vaccinated, the AP said.

“This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward,” WSU athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement.

Washington State is 4-3 this season and has won its past three games, including a 34-31 win over Stanford last Saturday. WSU plays at home Saturday against Brigham Young University.

Last week, Gov. Inslee, a Democrat who has served at the helm of the Evergreen State since early 2013, announced that large events will soon be required to confirm that attendees have either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they have tested negative for the illness within the prior 72 hours.

That requirement is slated to go into effect Nov. 15 and will be applicable to individuals ages 12 and older, the governor said. It pertains to indoor events with 1,000 or more people and outdoor events with more than 10,000.

“For now this applies to ticketed or registered events that have defined entrances, like conventions, concerts, sporting events, fairs that have defined entrances, theme parks and more. This does not cover large venues like shopping malls, museums, or grocery stores that are open to the public as part of their operations,” Inslee said.

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