One day after announcing his staff with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Urban Meyer has lost one of his assistants. Chris Doyle, the highly controversial former Iowa football strength and conditioning coach, has resigned after a wave of backlash to his hire.
There wasn’t a lot of fanfare in the lead up to Doyle joining the Jags. His hire was not reported on ahead of time. The Jaguars merely included him in a tweet thread of new hires, listing his accolades from two decades at Iowa, while totally bypassing the alleged indiscretions that led to he and the program parting ways.
Last summer, amid the nationwide reckoning on race following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, a number of high-profile former Hawkeyes exposed issues within the Iowa football program. Doyle was cited more often than any other staffer, with multiple players highlighting racist, inappropriate mistreatment from the longtime Kirk Ferentz assistant. He had been the country’s highest-paid strength coach before his ouster.
Rod Graves of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization of NFL personnel “committed to equal opportunity in the industry,” called the hire “a failure of leadership by the Jacksonville Jaguars,” in a statement this afternoon. “At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches. Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgement and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for the University of Iowa.”
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer says Chris Doyle has resigned
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) February 13, 2021
“I’ve known him. I’ve studied him. We’ve had a relationship,” Urban Meyer said of the heavily scrutinized hire, after it was announced. “I vetted him thoroughly along with our general manager and hire. I feel great about the hire and his expertise at that position.”
Now, late on a Friday night, he has confirmed Doyle’s resignation.
“Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville. We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 13, 2021
Urban Meyer is one of the greatest college football coaches in history. His tenures at both Florida and Ohio State featured their fair share of scandal, especially the 2018 Buckeyes season, which began with his suspension stemming from the Zach Smith scandal, and ended with his resignation. He’s going to be under a huge microscope now that he’s taken the long-awaited jump to the NFL.