Nick Rolovich, the head football coach for Washington State University, has been fired for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

CNN reported that the university’s athletics department announced Rolovich’s firing on Monday.


“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,” the department said in a statement.

Rolovich had been the head coach for Washington State University since last year, and with a salary of $3.2 million, he was the highest-paid employee in the state before his ousting.

The athletics department added that defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will be taking over as head coach. He’ll be helped by assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann, and Mark Weber.


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“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” said director of athletics Pat Chun. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness, and resiliency, and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward.”


Inslee’s mandate for most state employees to be fully vaccinated went into effect on Monday. Rolovich released a statement back in July saying that he’d “elected not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private.”

“While I have made my own decision,” Rolovich said at the time. “I respect that every individual — including our coaches, staff, and student-athletes — can make his or her own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.”

After a 34-31 victory against Stanford this past Saturday, Rolovich was asked if he knew if he would be coaching the team this week.

“I do not,” he replied.


Rolovich was then asked if he’d be given any information on this between then and the vaccine going into effect on Monday. He responded by saying that he was waiting on an email.

“I’m going to come to work tomorrow and get ready for BYU, and we’ll grade this film,” Rolovich said on Saturday, referring to the October 23 game against Brigham Young University. “I don’t think this is in my hands. I’ve been settled for a long time on it. I believe it’s going to work out the right way.”

When asked if the “right way” meant continuing as the team’s head coach, Rolovich replied, “Correct. Or if that’s not what (Chun) wants, then I guess then I’ve got to move on.”