Nick Rolovich has only been Washington State’s head coach for just over two months. He hasn’t coached a game for the Cougs. He hasn’t even had an official practice with the Cougs and probably won’t for quite some time.
Despite that, Rolovich has already made his mark in Pullman, helping the tight-knit community heal in a time of crisis.
All weekend long, Coach Rolo and his coaching staff has ordered take-out from locally owned businesses on the Palouse. But that’s not all, he also bought 20 meals from each restaurant, leaving them for his Twitter followers to come pick up.
“We tried to help as much as we can with some of the businesses locally,” Rolovich said in a teleconference Tuesday. (h/t to Theo Lawson for transcribing the press conference.)
It all started on Saturday when Rolovich took advantage of Pizza Perfection’s buy one, get one free carry-out deal. “I heard about the pizza deal and said ‘let’s see if some other people who are struggling, they’d get a little relief with the free pizza.’ Then it’s kind of carried on the last couple days.”
From there, Rolovich has treated the community to meals from other Pullman establishments. On Sunday, he bought 20 taco plates at Nuevo Vallarta. On Monday, Roloviched rolled on to Tan’s Chinese Restaurant, picking up some orders of orange chicken and broccoli beef.
On Tuesday, however, coach decided to change things up. “I just don’t want it to become a wild goose chase for where I’m buying free food, because I don’t think that is – well first it’s not the intended consequence and it’s not really the spirit of the exercise,” Rolovich said. “I know somebody tweeted at me that the hospital workers on the night shift always appreciate food, so I think that might be a better way for us to maybe go drop that off tonight so they’ve got some food.”
And that’s exactly what Rolovich did after a quick stop at Sella’s.
Thank you so much @NickRolovich for supporting the staff Pullman regional hospital during this time! We love food from @SellasPullman ! pic.twitter.com/gXTEF8aJnO— Hailey (@hazelgirl_06) March 25, 2020
Not only did Rolo give some much deserved support to crucial first responders at Pullman Regional in the form of (in my opinion) some of the finest pizza and calzones you’ll find anywhere, he left a “few surprises” for his Twitter followers at Sella’s as well.
He’s had to deal with a lot since taking over at WSU. But despite the global crisis and the challenges that come along with it, Rolovich is thrilled to be in Pullman and to be a part of the Cougar community.
“I didn’t realize this place was wired like me so much until I got here,” Rolovich said Tuesday. “On the surface, I like the small town, raising a family here, I like the opportunity to coach in the Pac-12, I like coach Leach had built a roster that we could transition fairly easily. Then I see the passion of the fanbase. I’m sure there’s some fanbases that have similar passion as far as levels, but the goodness involved in the passion from the people around here. The family values that are kind of treasured as part of Coug nation. … This has turned out to be an even better place than I thought for me personally.”
Rolovich also touched on the challenges around recruiting in the current climate and how he plans to adjust without spring football during his teleconference. The audio on the call left a lot to be desired thanks to one delinquent who refused to mute their phone. The best way to experience the conference is through Theo Lawson’s transcription via the Spokesman Review, linked below.
Transcript: Washington State’s Nick Rolovich addresses impact of COVID-19, spring football, supporting local restaurants | The Spokesman-Review
Three days removed from when spring football was supposed to begin at Washington State, first-year Cougars coach Nick Rolovich spoke to local and national reporters Tuesday in a conference call to discuss the impact of COVID-19, the delay of spring camp and his initiative to support local restaurants.
As coronavirus permeates college football, Washington State’s Nick Rolovich forced to call audibles | The Spokesman-Review
For Nick Rolovich and his Washington State staff, it’s all about the audibles right now. An example: on Tuesday afternoon, before the first-year coach joined a Zoom conference call with nearly 20 reporters to discuss how his football program is reacting and adjusting to the spread of COVID-19, he played tour guide for a recruiting prospect.
WSU's Nick Rolovich giving back to Pullman, one meal at a time | krem.com
Rolovich has started buying meals at local restaurants in Pullman for people to pick up for free.
WSU Basketball: What to Expect from Jefferson Koulibaly – Cougar Sports Network
What you see is what you get with Jefferson Koulibaly. An all-around stat-stuffing, energetic competitor who averaged 27.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in his senior season, according to the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association website.