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Washington State football coach fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccine | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2021-10-18 21:43:00 –

Spokane, Washington (AP) —Washington fired football coach Nick Lorovich and four assistants on Monday for denying the state’s obligation to vaccinate all employees with COVID-19. .. Status.

Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee has set a deadline for thousands of state officials, including Cougars coaches, to be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday. Lorovich applied for a religious exemption.

Defense coordinator Jake Dickert has been promoted to acting coach and his first match will be against BYU at home on Saturday, the school said late Monday.

“Today is a disappointing day for our football program,” athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement. “Our priority is, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of young men on our team.”

Lorovich couldn’t get any comments right away.

The 42-year-old Lorovich was a top-paying state employee with an annual salary of over $ 3 million on contracts by 2025. He said he would not be vaccinated, but did not specify the reason. He was the only unvaccinated head coach on Pac-12 and wore a mask during the match.

It was said that Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber’s assistant coaches were fired for refusing to vaccinate.

Around the country, many college football coaches, such as Dabo Swinney of Clemson and Nick Saban of Alabama, have publicly advocated vaccination. Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin said it was irresponsible not to be vaccinated and that his team was proud to be 100% vaccinated.

Many coaches have talked about the team’s high immunization rates, but the school is not obliged to share those numbers.

Unlike last season, if a case of COVID-19 swept major college football and postponed or canceled the game every week, there was no need to rescheduling the game for the outbreak of COVID-19.

Lorovich was hired from Hawaii two years ago after Mike Reach left for Mississippi and led Washington to a 1-3 Pac-12 record in the shortened 2020 season for a pandemic. I did. Washington has won the last three games and is 4-3 this season, including defeating Stanford 34-31 last Saturday. He ends with a 5-6 record on the Pullman campus in southeastern Washington.

In July, Lorovich revealed that he was not vaccinated and therefore could not attend Pac-12 Media Day directly.

He said in mid-August that he would follow a new mission to require all state officials to be vaccinated, but repeatedly declined to do so.

After weeks refusing to reveal the plan, Lorovich confirmed on October 9 that he was seeking a religious exemption from the mission. He has not identified his religious beliefs.

Lorovich needed to prove his sincere religious beliefs that prevented him from being vaccinated in his exemption application. The application was submitted to a committee reviewing the request without knowing the applicant’s name.

In order to continue coaching, Lorovich needed to be exempt from religion and had Chun decide that Lorovich could do his job while keeping the people safe. In addition to his work as a coach, Lorovich oversaw a youth soccer program and participated in promotional and funding events.

Lorovich was fired for good reason. This means that there may be proceedings over the decision, but the university does not have to respect the rest of the contract. The Washington state athletic club is currently facing a shortage of more than $ 30 million.

Dickert entered Pullman for his second season as a Defense Coordinator in Washington, spending three seasons in Wyoming. He was not a head coach before.

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz said nearly 90% of WSU employees and 97% of students were vaccinated.

Vaccine issues are pervasive all year round, disrupting Washington fans and providing ongoing distractions.

As the season progressed, the players stood up for their coaches. Quarterback Jayden de Laura told deputy reporters after Saturday’s victory: We love him “

Wide receiver Travel Harris praised Lorovich as a “player coach” after the match.

“He’s a coach we all love to play,” Harris said.

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

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