‘He put trust in me’: WSU starting QB Jayden de Laura says he’s disappointed by Rolovich termination

PULLMAN, Wash.– Washington State University’s starting quarterback is speaking out about the termination of former head coach Nick Rolovich.

Jayden de Laura released a statement Monday hours after the news Rolovich had been let go got out. De Laura expressed his disappointment in the decision but said Cougar football is bigger than just one person.

“We are a band of brothers who play and sacrifice for each other, no matter who the head coach is. We have never been about one person or any one name on the back of the jersey,” De Laura said in part. “We have been and always will be about the logo and the pride that all of us share in being part of the Cougar family.”

He called on Coug fans to pack Martin Stadium Saturday and show their support.

De Laura said playing for Rolovich was an honor he’d cherish forever.

“He put trust in me and allowed me to grow as a man both on and off the field,” De Laura said.

De Laura wasn’t the only player who expressed gratitude toward Rolovich.

Kicker Lucas Dunker tweeted, “Not only did our team lose coaches. We lost friends, mentors, role models, but most of all family members… thank you @NickRolovich for giving me a chance to perform at the highest level and pursue my dreams.”

WSU said on Monday, the state’s deadline for its vaccine mandate, that it was terminated Rolovich. WSU Athletics said it was because he was no longer able to fulfill his duties as head coach because of the vaccine requirement.

Rolovich isn’t the only person on the team’s coaching staff to be terminated. The school said four football assistant coaches, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber are also not in compliance with the state’s mandate.

“This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward,” said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun.

Rolovich announced in July he had elected not to receive the vaccine but said he would follow all university and state protocols. It was recently revealed that he had filed for a religious exemption.

Rolovich has been with the Cougs since early 2020 when he replaced Mike Leach as head coach.

RELATED: Washington State coach Rolovich fired for refusing vaccine

RELATED: WSU head coach Nick Rolovich fired for failing to meet vaccine requirement