Prominent Football Coach Fired Over Vaccine Mandate Announces He's Fighting Back Against 'Unjust and Unlawful' Removal


On Monday, Washington State University head football coach Nick Rolovich was fired for refusing to comply with the state’s vaccine mandate. Two days later, his lawyer said he plans to sue the school that ousted him.

Attorney Brian Fahling announced the lawsuit in a Wednesday statement, KCPQ-TV reported. Fahling called his client’s firing “unjust and unlawful.”

Fahling said Rolovich had filed for a religious exemption from the vaccine, which was denied by the school. He accused the school of saying it would not make accommodations for Rolovich even if the exemption was granted.

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WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun said on Monday that Rolovich was “not eligible to be employed at Washington State University, through noncompliance,” The Washington Post reported. Fahling accused Chun of harboring ill will toward Rolovich far before firing him.

“Chun’s animus toward Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs, and Chun’s dishonesty at the expense of Coach Rolovich during the past year is damning and will be thoroughly detailed in litigation,” he said in a statement.

“Chun’s discriminatory and vindicative behavior has caused immeasurable harm to Coach Rolovich and his family.”

Fahling continued by saying Rolovich’s firing is a troubling sign for America as a whole.

Do you think Rolovich will win this lawsuit?

“It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture, and more specifically, on Chun, that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized, and ultimately fired from his job, merely for being devout in his Catholic faith,” Fahling said.

According to the Post, Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee first announced a mandate in August for all state employees to become vaccinated, including employees of state schools.

At $3.2 million per year, Rolovich was the highest-earning employee to fall under the mandate. The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reported that Rolovich was one of about 50 WSU employees who were fired over refusing to get the vaccine.

Four other assistant coaches were fired with Rolovich, the Post reported. Those were Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber.

For the time being, defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will serve as the team’s head coach.

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Left-leaning Twitter users had no sympathy for Rolovich after his termination. One Pac-12 reporter argued Rolovich was personally responsible for losing his job by making a private medical decision, while another Slate reporter called him a “loser.”

According to ESPN, Washington State held a 4-3 record under Rolovich this year. After a disappointing 1-3 start to the season, WSU was coming off three straight wins over California, Oregon State and Stanford.

In its first game without Rolovich, WSU will host Brigham Young University in a nationally televised contest on Saturday.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.