Rolovich to leave Hawaii, become next head coach at Washington State

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 5:36 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii head football coach Nick Rolovich has accepted an offer to leave the program and become Washington State’s next head coach, according to school officials.

“Nick called me tonight to inform me that he accepted the Washington State job,” University of Hawaii Athletics Director David Matlin said late Monday night. “Our football program is in a better place today because of Nick and we wish him all the best.

“Our search for our next head coach begins immediately,” Matlin added.

The news was first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

The job, which will see Rolovich move out of the Mountain West and into the Pac-12 conference, was vacated last week, when former Cougars coach Mike Leach left the school to accept the head coaching position at Mississippi State.

Yahoo! Sports college football reporter Pete Thamel reports WSU is in the process of finalizing a five-year contract with Rolovich with an average salary of roughly $3 million.

Rolovich signed a two-year contract extension last January on an original deal that paid him roughly $400,000 per year in base salary.

Rolovich, who starred as a quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors during his collegiate playing days, went 28-27 in his career as Hawaii’s head coach, including a 15-17 record in the Mountain West.

He also led Hawaii to a division title and its first-ever appearance in the Mountain West Conference Championship during the 2019 season.

The ‘Bows defeated BYU in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl, 38-34.

Hired near the end of the 2015 season, Rolovich is widely credited for helping stabilize a program that went 10-36 during the near four-year tenure of Norm Chow, who won just four games in-conference during his Hawaii career.

Rolovich’s departure is the second high-profile loss for the Rainbow Warriors in as many weeks. Quarterback Cole McDonald announced Wednesday that he planned to forego his senior season and declare himself eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft.

This story will be updated.

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