Reports: Nick Rolovich fired as Washington State football coach after failing to comply with state vaccine mandate

<p><p>Nick Rolovich’s short and controversial tenure as Washington State’s football coach has ended after just 11 games. </p></p><p><p>According to multiple reports, Rolovich was terminated by the university for cause Monday after failing to meet a Washington mandate that requires the state’s educational employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18 unless they could obtain a religious or medical exemption from the state.</p></p><p><p>Last Saturday after a Pac-12 win over Oregon State, Rolovich confirmed he was seeking a religious exemption after June Jones, his mentor and former coach at the University of Hawaii, leaked the information to USA Today.</p></p><p><p>After Rolovich’s final game at WSU, a dramatic 34-31 win over Stanford on Saturday night that bumped the Cougars’ record to 4-3, the coach said he was “waiting on an email” that would clarify whether his religious exemption had been granted and told reporters he didn’t know whether he’d get a chance to finish out his first full season in Pullman.</p></p><p><p>Rolovich said he’s been settled on his stance for “a long time” and believed the exemption process would “work out the right way” – meaning he would retain his job.</p></p><p><p>“If that’s not what (athletic director Pat Chun) wants, then I guess I’ve got to move on,” he said. “But I like being here. I like being the coach here. I love these kids. I’ve just got faith in it.”</p></p><p><p>In late July, Rolovich announced on Twitter he’d refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine “for reasons that will remain private” and would not be able to attend the Pac-12’s annual Media Day in Los Angeles due to the event’s vaccine requirement.</p></p><p><p>Rolovich never elaborated on his reasons for refusing the vaccine, but after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced state employees would have to show proof of vaccine or obtain an exemption by Oct. 18, WSU’s coach told reporters he planned to “follow the mandate.”</p></p><p><p>Rolovich, who replaced Mike Leach in January of 2020, finishes with a 5-6 record at WSU. The Cougars played only four games last season and had three canceled as a result of COVID-19.</p></p><p><p><em>Will be updated</em></p></p>