Nick Rolovich said the “Cougar climate” and the passions that contributed to it attracted him to be the head football coach at Washington State after four seasons at the University of Hawaii.
Attired in a dark suit with a tie of crimson and gray, the WSU colors, and Cougar lapel pin, Rolovich was publicly introduced at a press conference on the Pullman, Wash. campus this afternoon after his announced departure from UH on Monday night
“The number one question I have gotten is, ‘How is the weather?’” Rolovich said on a day when the high was 38 degrees. “And, I get it. I understand that. What attracted me here is not the weather, it is the climate. The Cougar climate. The passion that I have seen since I set foot in this city, on this campus. The fan base, the students, why they make it such a hard place to play football for opponents. The (Cougar) flags waving all over town. That iconic (WSU) logo, you can’t go anywhere without seeing it. There is a togetherness here that was real attractive for me to be able to be a part of.”
He agreed to a five-year contract with a reported annual salary of $3 million.
Welcome to the Palouse, coach!
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 16, 2020
Rolovich thanked his past coaches, teammates and “all the great players” he has coached. “I would be wrong if I didn’t say ‘mahalo’ to Hawaii for giving me this opportunity and every opportunity I’ve had in my life as far as my family, my young coaching career,” Rolovich said. “You will always be a part of my heart and I’m very grateful for the time and the aloha spirit they gave me.”
He was presented with a “No. 1” Cougar jersey and said he looks forward to learning the whole WSU fight song and would like to re-name the offense, ‘The run-and-Coug” from run-and-shoot.
UH is expected to name Rolovich’s replacement by the middle of next week.