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Nick Rolovich fired at Washington State for failing to get a Covid-19 vaccine

The second-year head coach is the only one in FBS that has refused the vaccine, and he’s in a state where that’s not allowed for any state employee.

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

8:40 p.m. ET The official release from WSU is out, and the assistants that have also been terminated are Ricky Logo (defensive tackles), John Richardson (cornerbacks), Craig Stutzmann (co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), and Mark Weber (offensive line).

Update 8:25 p.m. ET ESPN is reporting defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will be the Cougars interim coach according to sources.

Update 7:45 p.m. ET Rolovich indeed has been fired by Washington State. More to come.


Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich has been terminated by the school for his failure to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. Rolovich refused to get injected even after the state of Washington required it of all employees. He applied for a religious exemption, but the tea leaves indicate he has been denied by a committee tasked with determining true religious exceptions.

The state committee was composed of workers that did not know Rolovich’s identity or his position when denying him as all identifying information was blacked out. So there are no further options under Washington’s law signed by Governor Jay Inslee on September 27th.

This has been percolating for quite awhile, with Rolovich unable to attend Pac-12 media days in Los Angeles due to his status earlier this year. He’s also been forced to wear a mask at all times, even outdoors, while coaching his team both at games and during practices. He is the only FBS coach that isn’t vaccinated, but just happens to coach in one of the few college football states where that can cost any state employee their job.

There appears to be a team meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT where athletic director Pat Chun will discuss the status of their head coach. After that we might get more clarity on when and how this will happen, and who any interim coach might be. Also several members of Rolovich’s coaching staff aren’t vaccinated either, and they’ll likely be terminated if they refuse the vaccine as well.

The Cougars are 4-3 this season, 3-2 in the Pac-12, and just got their biggest win of the season last Saturday in a 34-31 victory over Stanford. They’ll host BYU on Saturday night.