US college coach, assistants fired over vaccine refusal
The head coach of Washington State’s college football team has been fired along with four assistant coaches after refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine, the university confirmed on Monday.
Nick Rolovich was axed from his $3.2 million a year post as a deadline requiring all Washington state employees to be vaccinated or to have received an exemption expired.
The 42-year-old said in July he would not take a Covid-19 vaccine, citing “reasons which will remain private.”
He was reported to have sought an exemption from Washington’s vaccine mandate on religious grounds but was unsuccessful.
A statement issued late Monday said Rolovich was “no longer able to fulfill the duties as the football head coach.”
“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” Washington State University athletics director Pat Chun said in a statement.
“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.”
Washington State’s football team compete in the Pac-12 conference in the top tier of US college sports.