Jacksonville Jaguars Sports Performance Coach Chris Doyle Resigns Amid Backlash for Behavior at University of Iowa

Chris Doyle was the highest-paid strength coach in college football until he was forced to resign amid controversy from Iowa. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Jacksonville Jaguars director of sports performance Chris Doyle, the former strength coach at the University of Iowa who was accused of making racist remarks and belittling and bullying players while there, resigned late Friday night just hours after the organization was criticized for the hire by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke released a statement that said the team failed to properly consider the impact of hiring Doyle, who had reached a separation agreement from Iowa in June as a result of allegations made by multiple Black players.

“Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted,” the statement read. “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. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career.”

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The move came hours after Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves blasted the Jaguars and Meyer for hiring Doyle.

“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,” Graves’ statement read. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa.

“Urban Meyer’s statement, ‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years’ reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.”

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is an organization devoted to championing diversity in the NFL. It is comprised of scouts, coaches and front-office personnel in the NFL as well as other sports professionals.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Michael DiRocco

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