Former Washington State Cougars head football coach is suing for wrongful termination


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Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich has filed a claim against the university seeking $25 million for wrongful termination after he was fired last year for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The claim on Rolovich’s behalf was filed with the state’s Office of Risk Management on April 27, the Seattle Times reported.

Such a claim is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit against a state agency, said Brionna Aho, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. After filing a tort claim, a person must wait 60 days to file a lawsuit.

Aho said no case had been filed as of Wednesday.

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Rolovich’s attorney, Brian Fahling of Kenmore, did not return a telephone message left at his office Wednesday. He had previously indicated that Rolovich would take legal action, claiming religious discrimination.

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford in Pullman, Washington.  A former coach has filed a $25 million wrongful termination claim against the university after he was fired last year for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford in Pullman, Washington. A former coach has filed a $25 million wrongful termination claim against the university after he was fired last year for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
(AP Photo/Young Kwok, File)

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Rolovich, Catholic. The religious exemption was denied by Gov. Jay Inslee’s order requiring state employees to receive the vaccine.

He was fired in October after coaching just 11 games over two seasons with the Cougars, who went 5-6. Assistant coach Jake Dickert was temporarily elevated to interim head coach and later named Rolovich’s replacement after leading the Cougars to the Sun Bowl.

In November, Fahling submitted a 34-page letter to the university appealing Rolovich’s firing. That appeal was rejected.

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At the time of his firing, Rolovich was working under a five-year contract, with three seasons remaining. He was paid $3.2 million a year, the highest public salary in the state.



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