Rolovich out at WSU

Football head coach fired for cause on vaccine deadline



Nick Rolovich talks with a referee during a football game at Martin Stadium Oct. 9 in Pullman.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

Football head coach Nick Rolovich has been officially ‘terminated for cause’ after not complying with Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate.

The news was first broken by John Canzano of The Oregonian. WSU Athletics has confirmed the reports in a press release.

“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” Athletic Director Pat Chun said. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team.”

Rolovich became head coach for the Cougars on Jan. 14, 2020, after Mike Leach left the program for Mississippi State.

“While much has been made of the relatively small number of university employees who are not complying with the governor’s mandate, we are immensely gratified that nearly 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of our students are now vaccinated,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said. 

With firing Rolovich for cause, the university will not be in debt for Rolovich’s remaining contract, which paid him just north of $3 million per year. 

Rolovich applied for a religious exemption under the state’s mandate that all state employees be fully vaccinated or exempted for religious or medical reasons as of today.

Assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber were also fired. Stutzmann had been serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

After the Cougars faced Oregon State back on Oct. 9, Rolovich confirmed in a press conference after the game that he was seeking the religious exemption after June Jones, his mentor from the University of Hawaii, told USA Today the information.

Rolovich coached 11 games in total at WSU, the latest being a win against Stanford at home Saturday in Pullman. His record as a Coug overall will end at 5-6.

According to Kyle Bonagura of ESPN, Jake Dickert, current defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, is expected to become the interim head coach.