Nick Rolovich: Washington state football head coach ousted after refusing Covid-19 vaccine
“Due to the requirements set out in Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, Nick Rolovich is no longer able to serve as head football coach at Washington State University,” the department said in a press release.
Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will become interim head coach, the statement said.
The four assistant coaches are Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber, the statement said.
âIt’s a discouraging day for our football program,â athletics director Pat Chun said in a statement. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership of our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resilience and we believe that these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward. â
Vaccination warrants have sparked confrontations between employers and employees outside of sports since President Joe Biden in September imposed tough new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and healthcare workers in an attempt radical to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans, or nearly two-thirds of the American workforce.
âAlthough I made my own decision,â Rolovich said, âI respect the fact that each individual – including our coaches, staff and student-athletes – can make their own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. “
The team went 1-3 last season, which was cut short due to the pandemic. The Cougars are 4-3 this season.
On Saturday, after a 34-31 home win over Stanford, Rolovich was asked at a post-game press conference if he knew if he would coach the team the following week.
“I don’t,” Rolovich told reporters.
When asked if he had received any advice between that date and Monday regarding an exemption request, Rolovich said he was waiting for an email.
“I’m going to come to work tomorrow and get ready for BYU, and we’ll be reviewing this movie,” Rolovich said on Saturday, of the Oct. 23 game against Brigham Young University. “I don’t think it’s in my hands. I’ve been there for a long time. I think it’s going to work out the right way.”
When asked if the ‘right path’ meant remaining the head coach of the team, Rolovich replied, âThat’s okay. Or if that’s not what (Chun) wants, then I guess I have to move on. “
When asked if Rolovich would take the vaccine to save his job, he replied, âIf this happens, you’ll be the first to know.
CNN’s Jill Martin contributed to this report.