Washington State has fired coach Nick Rolovich after he declined to get vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a state mandate that required it unless approved for an exemption.

Rolovich isn’t taking the fall alone, four of his staff members are going with him – defensive tackles coach Ricky Logo, assistant head coach John Richardson, co-offensive coordinator Craig Stutzmann and offensive line coach Mark Weber.

All state employees faced a deadline of Monday to save their jobs. To do so, they needed to be fully vaccinated or obtain approval for an exemption. This coaching staff is one of few in America to fail to do so. The outlook for the remaining five games for the Cougars is still good, as the team sits at 4-3 and in third place in the Pac-12 North. They face BYU this weekend, followed by ASU, 10th ranked Oregon, Arizona and Washington. While this is a gauntlet of a schedule, if WSU goes 4-1 or wins out, they’ll have the chance to compete for the PAC 12 title and a good bowl game.

For the rest of the season, defensive coordinator Jake Dickert, who is vaccinated, will become the interim head coach. The WSU athletic director Pat Chun wasn’t exactly pleased with the coaching change, saying: “To be at this juncture today is unacceptable on so many levels and is antithetical to the WSU experience our student-athletes so richly deserve. I’m saddened for our football alumni and to all the proud Cougs all over the world for the fracturing that has transpired over the past few months. We need to infuse compassion, empathy and unity back into our WSU community, and that healing process needs to begin immediately.”

Rolovich did make a request for a religious exemption. He first confirmed on Oct. 9 that he was seeking such an exemption after it was revealed that he had filed an application for it and was not vaccinated. Now Rolovich is unemployed after things finally started to turn around in Spokane, but he is unlikely to be rehired at another university.

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