PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University (WSU) announced football interim head coach Jake Dickert will take over as the permanent head coach.
The announcement comes after the Cougars won their first Apple Cup since 2012 on Friday night, beating the University of Washington 40-13.The win ended a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry for WSU and is the largest margin of victory in the history of the series.
“We are thrilled to have Jake Dickert step into the head coaching role,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “Coach Dickert was able to bring together a team that has been through so much in the past two seasons and inspire them to not only keep going, but to fight harder. Coach Dickert loves Pullman, understands what it means to be a Coug, and most importantly, puts his players first. He is an asset to this program, and to WSU.”
“Coach Jake Dickert has proven to be an exceptional person, coach and leader. He has the character, vision and plan we need to lead Washington State Football through the next chapter of our storied history. We’ve been able to witness the positive impact he has had on our student-athletes in a very short of period of time," Schulz continued. "We are thankful the best person to lead our program was already living in Pullman. We appreciate Jake, Candice, Rylee, Jett, and Jace for their commitment to WSU."
Dickert was elevated to interim head coach from defensive coordinator interim following the firing of former head coach Nick Rolovich, who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. WSU denied Rolovich's religious exemption to the state's vaccine mandate.
"When we made a coaching change midway through the season, we needed to find a special leader to guide this program going forward, and we have found that with Jake,” WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun added. “His ability to steady this program and keep it focused over the past six weeks has been very impressive. Jake has a championship mentality which has been on display since late October and we are fortunate to have him guiding Cougar Football for many years to come.”
Jake Dickert said in part that he is "extremely humbled and honored" to permanently coach at WSU.
“I want to thank President Schulz, Pat Chun and Bryan Blair for their leadership and trust in me and my vision for the future of WSU football. Pullman fits our family so well and we are so excited to be a part of this community for a long time to come. Go Cougs," Dickert said.
Since Dickert took over as head coach, Washington State has gone 3-2 with a loss to a tough BYU team, who was ranked No. 25 when the Cougs played them and is now ranked No. 13, and a loss to Oregon, who was ranked No. 3 in the country at the time.
"I'm just excited to be here in Pullman, this is how I grew up," said Dickert in his introductory press conference when he was announced as interim head coach in October. "Small towns is what I know. Great people is what I know. I know when the RV's come to town it takes me ten minutes to get to work there's a lot of traffic for me. You know that's a lot of time to get to work. Just, I love Pullman it fits me, it fits our family, and we're blessed to be here."
Dickert has 14 seasons of college football coaching experience. His most recent stop before Pullman was at the University of Wyoming where he coached for three seasons and was the defensive coordinator in 2019. Dickert's run defense was ranked 11th in the country in Laramie. Prior to 2019, Dickert was the safeties coach at Wyoming in 2017 and 2018.