Chris Doyle was dismissed as Iowa’s strength coach after accusations of racial bias were brought against him last year.
Urban Meyer’s coaching staff for the Jacksonville Jaguars is complete, but all of the attention is one specific hire.
Jacksonville’s new director of sport performance is Chris Doyle. If that name rings a bell, it’s for one of two things: Doyle being the strength coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes since 1999, or that his tenure ended amid a racial bias scandal.
The accolades, on the surface, are quite impressive. Doyle played a role in getting Iowa to 16 bowl games in two decades, and sent 55 players to the NFL Draft. That’s what the Jaguars wanted everyone to focus on when announcing his hiring, not the racial disparity allegations that came against Hawkeyes Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and Doyle.
As many as 50 players came out with such allegations, including Cornerback Matt Hankins. He recalled a perplexing encounter with Doyle that involved being scolded after spitting on the field during a workout and told demeaning things about his value to the team.
Jaguars hiring of Chris Doyle didn’t sit right with anyone except Urban Meyer
While the Jaguars may have propped up Doyle’s accolades as a smokescreen, few forgot how his tenure with Iowa ended.
It’s a truly disappointing hire by Meyer, who has a history of hiring problematic people who happen know something about football. It’s also an incredibly tone deaf hire in the era of athlete empowerment. Players are no longer viewed as pieces on a gridiron chessboard expected to exist to produce and keep quiet.
Given the very recent history of Doyle’s racial bias coming to light, his hiring doesn’t speak to building an environment where the players can both perform well and be respected as human beings.