PULLMAN, Wash. >> Max Borghi scored on a 2-yard run with 1:30 left in the game as Washington State came back to beat Stanford 34-31 today in what was possibly the last game for WSU coach Nick Rolovich because of his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The state of Washington has set a deadline of Monday for all public employees — including the Cougars’ coach — to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Rolovich has applied for a religious exemption and his future with the team hangs on the answer.
Rolovich, who is the highest paid state employee at more than $3 million per year, has refused to be vaccinated for unspecified reasons, in defiance of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate. He is the only unvaccinated coach in the Pac-12.
“I’m going to come to work tomorrow and get ready for BYU,” Rolovich said after the game. “This is not in my hands.”
Borghi’s winning score was set up by a 41-yard pass reception by Calvin Jackson Jr. Borghi finished with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Jayden de Laura, a Saint Louis alum, threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns for Washington State (4-3, 3-2 Pac-12), which won its third straight game and holds a five-game winning streak against Stanford.
“He was really mistake-free,” Rolovich said of his sophomore quarterback.
Austin Jones and Benjamin Yurosek caught touchdown passes for Stanford (3-4, 2-3) and Joshua Karty kicked three field goals.
Rolovich said he does not know what will happen next week, but he has gotten used to the uncertainty after months of speculation about his future. He said he is waiting for a message from Athletic Director Pat Chun regarding his future. “I believe this is gonna work out in the right way,” Rolovich said, adding that meant him remaining as coach of the Cougars. “I got faith in it.”