Rolovich out as WSU head coach since vaccine exemption can't be accommodated

click to enlarge YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Washington State University head football coach Nick Rolovich has been fired after his request for an exemption from a state vaccine mandate was declined.

Rolovich had requested a religious exemption from Gov. Jay Inslee's state mandate that public employees get a COVID-19 vaccine.

For state employees whose exemptions were granted, accommodations such as working from home or in non-public spaces are the main solutions, NW News Network reported today. But for those who have public jobs, wearing a mask and getting tested regularly are no longer accommodations the state accepts.
click to enlarge Nick Rolovich
Nick Rolovich

Because of that, it was announced Oct. 18 that Rolovich could not do his public-facing job. Four other assistant coaches who also couldn't be accommodated were let go, according to the university.


Rolovich was the highest-paid state employee at $3 million per year, and was named to the top coaching spot in January 2020 with a five-year agreement.

WSU defensive coordinator Jake Dickert was named acting head coach.

"This is a disheartening day for our football program," WSU Athletics Director Pat Chun said in a news release. "Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team."

Northwest Winterfest @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Through Jan. 2, 2022, 5-9 p.m.
  • or

About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...