Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich will pursue legal action against the university after he was fired on Monday for violating the state's COVID-19 mandate.
After Washington governor Jay Inslee announced the state mandate in August, state employees had until Oct. 18 to comply. Rolovich, who previously said he would follow the vaccine mandate after holding out, was subsequently fired as the deadline passed without the coach receiving the vaccine.
The crux of Rolovich's legal argument appears to be based on the religious exemption he applied for which was denied on Monday along with "discriminatory and vindictive behavior" from Washington State athletic director Pat Chun, Rolovich's lawyer Brian Fahling said.
“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 wrote in a statement.
"... Since at least April, it became clear that Chun had already determined that Coach Rolovich would be fired. Chun’s animus towards 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."
The statement did not elaborate upon what restitutions Rolovich would be seeking. The coach went 5-6 during his tenure at Washington State after arriving from Hawaii in 2020.
According to Yahoo Sports, Rolovich had three years and about $9 million left on his contract when his contract was terminated with cause, meaning the university does not plan to pay him.
Assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber were also fired. Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Jake Dickert has since taken over the program as acting head coach.
More College Football Coverage: