Washington state fans support squad after Rolovich move
Joe Trull was disappointed Nick Rolovich didn’t have the chance to coach a full season in Washington State.
Standing outside Martin Stadium ahead of the Cougars’ game against BYU, Trull, 55, of Port Orchard, Wash., Also said Rolovich’s sacking “was the right thing to do.”
Washington state fans like Trull weighed in on Saturday after Rolovich was fired due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I’m curious to see how the kids are handling this,” Trull said. “It can be a rallying point for them. I think they will play hard.
Trisha Griggs, 32, of Spokane, Wash., Is a 2011 Washington state graduate. She wore a Cougars sweatshirt as she made her way to the stadium on Saturday.
“I think it’s sad for the players,” said Griggs. “I think how difficult it is for the players and at the root of such divisions within the Cougar Nation.
“But I am an elder and still support athletics.”
Mark Blewett, 51, of Spokane, graduated from the WSU in 1995. He said he was a fan of Rolovich, who led the Cougars to a 4-3 start this season.
“He got fired,” Blewett said. “He stood on a hill and died on it.
“He’s a leader of men working for a research university. He made his own bed.
Blewett said he hopes the Cougars can continue to play at their level with three straight wins and advance to a bowl game.
“Two or three more wins and they can play an extra game,” Blewett said.
Fans have continued to donate money to the program, Washington state officials said this week.
The athletics department received $ 3.5 million in donations last week following Rolovich’s sacking, the school said. These donations will go to the new indoor practice center, which has now exceeded its fundraising goals, the school said.
A good-sized crowd was expected at the 32,900-seat Martin Stadium on Saturday, but school officials said it would likely be short of the full house that Laura’s quarterback Jayden requested this week after the dismissal of Rolovich.
Rolovich and four of his assistants were fired on Monday for failing to respect the governor’s mandate to vaccinate all state employees against the coronavirus. Rolovich had requested a religious exemption but it was refused on Monday, the state’s vaccination deadline.
He was replaced for the remainder of the season by defensive coordinator Jake Dickert, who was elevated to interim head coach.