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.


The Associated Press

FGCU tops WSU 74-63, reaches 2nd round of March Madness

WSU Women's Hoops' season is over as they fell 74-63 to FGCU in the first round of this year's NCAA Tournment.
7 days ago
WSU Kyle Smith...
The Associated Press

Venters hits late 3, EWU knocks off WSU 81-74 in NIT

Steele Venters scored 27 points and buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining to rally Eastern Washington to an 81-74 victory over WSU on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.
11 days ago
Gonzaga Anton Watson Drew Timme...
Brent Stecker

NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga gets 3 seed in loaded West Region

The Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves in a loaded section of the bracket in their 24th straight men's basketball NCAA Tournament.
13 days ago
WSU Oregon...
The Associated Press

Oregon withstands WSU comeback, wins 75-70 in Pac-12 tourney

Keeshawn Barthelemy and Jermaine Couisnard each scored 17 points and Oregon had a 19-point lead erased before closing on a 7-0 run to beat WSU 75-70 on Thursday in the Pac-12 Tournament.
16 days ago
WSU DJ Rodman...
The Associated Press

WSU wins 7th straight, knocks out Cal in Pac-12 Tournament

WSU won its seventh game in a row with a 69-52 victory over Cal in the Pac-12 Tournament. TJ Mamba led the Cougars with 17 points.
17 days ago
The Associated Press

WSU dancing after beating UCLA 65-61 for 1st Pac-12 women’s hoops title

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 23 points and Bella Murekatete added 21 to help Washington State earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament by beating No. 19 UCLA 65-61 in the Pac-12 Championship on Sunday.
20 days ago
WSU terminates contract of football coach Nick Rolovich, 4 assistants