Tuesday, December 7, 2021
HomeCampus LifeWSU Football Coaches Fired for Vaccination Refusal

WSU Football Coaches Fired for Vaccination Refusal

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Washington State University (WSU) has sacked football head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches after they refused to follow the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“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 WSU athletics department said in a news release.

Under the proclamation, Governor Jay Inslee instructed state employees, including the team’s football coaches, to be vaccinated against the virus on or before Monday if they want to remain employed. 

“The noncompliance with this requirement renders [Rolovich] ineligible to be employed at Washington State University and therefore can no longer fulfill the duties as a head coach of our football program effective immediately,” WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun disclosed at a news conference Monday. “It is disheartening to be here today. Our football team is hurting. Our WSU community is fractured.”

The four fired assistant coaches are Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann, and Mark Weber. Jake Dickert, the team’s defensive coordinator, has been appointed interim head coach and will lead the team in its Saturday game. 

Low Team Morale

Rolovich previously stated that he would not be vaccinated. However, he initially said that he would comply with the mandate but applied for a religious exemption soon afterward. 

ABC News reported that WSU provided several educational sessions so staff members could better understand the vaccine.  

Chun informed Rolovich of his termination on Monday, and he immediately left the premises. The athletic director was also left with the task of informing the team. He said that players were unsurprisingly distraught about the news. 

“Their responses were what you would expect out of a bunch of college-age young people that lost their head coach and a bunch of position coaches as well. That’s a very close-knit group. They handled it maturely, but without a doubt there’s a lot of disappointment, sadness, anger,” Chun said. 

“It’s a room filled with over 120 young people, so it’s going to be the full spectrum of emotions. But they listened and they were all there,” he added.

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