WSU

WSU terminates contract of football coach Nick Rolovich, 4 assistants

Oct 18, 2021, 4:48 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm
WSU Nick Rolovich...
WSU coach Nick Rolovich adjusts his mask during a game against Utah in December 2020. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Washington State University announced Monday night that it has terminated the contracts of WSU Cougars head football coach Nick Rolovich and four of his assistant coaches due to their refusal to comply with a state mandate for public employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

WSU also has named defensive coordinator Jake Dickert interim head coach.

“Due to the requirements set forth in Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, Nick Rolovich is no longer able to fulfill the duties as the football head coach at Washington State University,” reads a release from WSU. “In addition, four football assistant coaches, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber, are also not in compliance with the Proclamation. As a result, Washington State University has initiated the separation process based on the terms of their respective contracts, effective immediately.”

Statements from WSU athletic director Pat Chun, president Kirk Schultz and board of regents chair Marty Dickinson were also included in the release, which you can read in full here.

Chun and Schultz also conducted a press conference Monday night.

Rolovich, who was in his second season as Cougars head coach, has been at the center of controversy this year due to his decision to not receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Under a mandate by Gov. Inslee, Monday was the deadline for all public employees in the state to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Rolovich had applied for a religious exemption.

The assistant coaches terminated by WSU are quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann, offensive line coach Mark Weber, defensive tackles coach Ricky Logo and cornerbacks coach John Richardson.

The coaches are all employed by the state, with Rolovich the highest-paid state employee with a salary of $3 million per year.

The Cougars came back to beat Stanford 34-31 on Saturday in what turned out to be Rolovich’s last game at the helm.

“I’m going to come to work tomorrow and get ready for BYU,” Rolovich said after the game, referring to WSU’s upcoming game this Saturday. “This is not in my hands.”

Rolovich was the only unvaccinated head coach in the Pac-12.

“I believe this is gonna work out in the right way,” Rolovich said Saturday, adding that meant him remaining as WSU’s coach. “I got faith in it.”

Rolovich coached WSU to a 4-3 record this year and a 1-3 record in the shortened 2020 season, making the Cougars 5-6 under him overall. Prior to coming to Pullman to replace previous coach Mike Leach, he led Hawaii to a 28-27 record over four seasons.

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