Oct 18, 2021 - Sports

Washington State fires head football coach for refusing COVID vaccine

Nick Rolovich

Nick Rolovich. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Washington State University announced Monday that head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches were fired for not complying with the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The big picture: The former head coach has been vocal about his refusal to get the vaccine and applied for religious exemption earlier this month. Jake Dickert, the team's defensive coordinator, was named acting head coach.

  • In accordance with state law, employees of the university had to be fully vaccinated by Monday.
  • Rolovich was the only head coach in the Pacific-12 conference that remained unvaccinated, according to AP.

What they're saying: "This is a disheartening day for our football program," WSU director of athletics 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," he continued.
  • "Experience is showing that vaccine mandates help motivate people to complete the vaccination process," said Marty Dickinson, WSU Board of Regents chair. "WSU has worked diligently to ensure the health and safety of our students, facility, staff and communities, as seen in our outstanding vaccination rates."
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