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Chris Doyle Hired by Jaguars After Being Fired by Iowa over Racism Allegations

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle walks on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Northern Illinois, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the hiring of Chris Doyle as their new director of sport performance Thursday.  

Doyle, who served as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Iowa from 1999 to 2019, agreed to step down from his position with the Hawkeyes in June amid allegations of racism and bullying.

According to Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today, multiple Black former Iowa players alleged that Doyle said he would "send them back to the ghetto" if they didn't perform up to his expectations and that he was critical of the way they wore their hair.

The Husch Blackwell law firm conducted an investigation into the state of the Iowa football program in 2020. While it mostly cleared head coach Kirk Ferentz of any wrongdoing, it came to the following conclusion: "In sum, the program's rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity. The program over-monitored players to the point that they experienced heightened anxiety and maintained a culture that allowed a small group of coaches to demean players."

As part of Doyle's departure from Iowa, he did not admit to any wrongdoing. He also denied allegations from former players, tweeting: "I do not make racists comments and I don't tolerate people who do."

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer expressed his belief that the hiring of Doyle won't create any issues:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Jaguars’ HC Urban Meyer said today that he has known new director of sports performance Chris Doyle for 20 years, he vetted his hire, and he is confident there will be no issues with Doyle, who left Iowa after numerous allegations of racist remarks and belittling players.

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Doyle will be part of the staff under Meyer, who came out of retirement to take the job in Jacksonville.

Meyer was previously the head coach at the University of Florida and Ohio State, winning three national championships during that time.

Doyle was named the Big Ten Strength Coach of the Year in 1999, and he was part of a Hawkeyes program that won a pair of Big Ten titles and played in 16 bowl games during his tenure.

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