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Washington State’s Nick Rolovich Fired Over COVID-19 Mandate

Oct 18, 2021, 6:12 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm
Nick Rolovich - Washington State...
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 25 : Nick Rolovich head coach of the Washington State Cougars talks with officials during their game against the Utah Utes September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY  – The Nick Rolovich era at Washington State is reportedly over for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a vaccine mandate (Proclamation 21-14.1) to all state employees back in August.

The mandate included athletic coaches such as Rolovich, the highest paid employee in the state of Washington at a $3 million salary.

Washington’s Proclamation 21-14.1, prohibits, “Any State Agency from permitting any Worker to engage in work for the agency after October 18, 2021, if the Worker has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provided proof thereof to the agency.”

Any Washington State employee who didn’t comply with the vaccine mandate faced termination on the October 18 deadline. Rolovich was seeking a religious exemption, according to his mentor and former head coach at Hawaii June Jones. But that was not enough for Rolovich to keep his job.

The Oregonian’s John Canzano first reported the firing.

Washington State is getting ready to play BYU this Saturday in Pullman. It’s the first time the Cougs in blue will ever travel to Pullman for a game.

Rolovich’s firing comes at a time when Washington State is on a three-game winning streak. This past Saturday, the Cougs defeated Stanford in an upset. After the game’s conclusion, Wazzu players gave the second-year head coach Rolovich a celebratory Gatorade bath for their now former coach.

Along with Rolovich, unvaccinated Washington State assistants have also been terminated. Those coaches include Associate Head Coach John Richardson, Co-Offensive Coordinator Craig Stutzmann, Offensive Line Mark Weber, and Defensive Tackles coach Ricky Logo.

Washington State Athletic Director Pat Chun is expected to meet with the WSU football team players at 6:30 p.m. (MT) for a players-only meeting.

BYU and Washington State will kick off this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (MT) on FS1 and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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