JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Embattled Jaguars coaching hire Chris Doyle’s tenure with the team lasted just over a day.
The former Iowa strength and conditioning was hired Thursday as the team’s director of sports performance but resigned late Friday night due to backlash about his hire and how his tenure at his previous job ended.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said in a statement that he accepted Doyle’s resignation. It was a stunning reversal from just a day earlier when Meyer, saying that he thoroughly vetted Doyle’s hire, backtracked and said that he should have thought it through a little bit more. It wound up dominating the news cycle for a day and became something that Jaguars were embarrassingly forced to address just over 24 hours after hiring Doyle.
“Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted. 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,” Meyer said in a statement.
Hours earlier, the Fritz Pollard Alliance ripped the Jaguars and Meyer for giving Doyle a job, saying it was “unacceptable” in today’s world to give what amounted to a promotion to a person with such an ominous cloud of significant allegations around them.
Doyle, who worked at Iowa from 1999 until last June, was accused by a large number of former Hawkeyes players, both Black and white, of racial bias and mistreatment. Numerous coaches in the Iowa program were mentioned as having a role in that, but Doyle was the only one removed from the school. Doyle received a $1.1 million separation agreement from Iowa on June 15, 2020 to leave the program.
Iowa commissioned a deep dive into the allegations and hired the Husch Blackwell firm to provide a report on the football culture within the program. The complete 28-page report can be found here.
Several former players said in the report that Doyle wasn’t the only one to blame within the program, but he was the one singled out the most.
Meyer said that he vetted Doyle’s situation and has known him for nearly 20 years. But the backlash for hiring Doyle began moments after he was announced as the team’s director of sports performance and grew stronger throughout the day Friday.
It was a black mark on both Meyer and the Jaguars, especially with allegations on Doyle still so fresh, and for a franchise that has prided itself on trying to be ahead of the curve on racial and social justice initiatives.