Washington State University (WSU) has sacked Nick Rolovich, its highest-paid employee, and four of his assistants, for failing to meet a Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
The mandate means all state workers in Washington have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or lose their jobs.
Rolovich, 42, who earned $3.1m (£2.25m) a year, had applied for a religious exemption from the mandate.
But WSU’s Director of Athletics, Pat Chun, said the exemption had been refused.
“This is a disheartening day for our football programme,” Chun said. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and wellbeing of the young men in our team.”
Rolovich’s sacking marks the culmination of a three-month showdown between the coach and Washington’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.
In August, Governor Inslee announced that all state employees and healthcare workers would need two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to keep their jobs. Monday was the deadline for them to get vaccinated, or have a medical or religious exemption.
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