Ex-Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle resigns from Jaguars job after outcry over hiring

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)
Chris Doyle spent 21 years at Iowa. He lasted one day in the NFL. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Chris Doyle's tenure as the Director of Sports Performance of the Jacksonville Jaguars lasted about 35 hours.

The former Iowa strength and conditioning coach resigned from his post in Jacksonville on Friday, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer announced per Mark Long of the Associated Press.

Meyer's statement, via Long:

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.

Doyle's resignation comes a day after his hiring, announced Thursday morning, which triggered an outcry due to the coach's past at Iowa. Once the nation's highest-paid strength coach, the longtime Kirk Ferentz assistant came under fire after numerous Hawkeyes players singled him out for allegedly racist comments and other negative experiences while they were with the program. One player accused Doyle of stepping on players' fingers during workouts, and an incident in which 13 players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis also came to light.

Doyle eventually parted ways with Iowa, receiving more than $1 million as part of a separation agreement.

Urban Meyer: Doyle was 'vetted thoroughly'

While accusations of racism and player hospitalizations would theoretically be be a significant obstacle for landing an NFL job, Doyle only had to wait months before Meyer and the Jaguars came calling.

After announcing Doyle's hiring, Meyer vociferously defended the move, claiming the Jaguars throughly vetted the coach before bringing him aboard:

Meyer told reporters Thursday that Doyle was "vetted thoroughly" before being brought to Jacksonville.

“I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years. Our relationship goes back to when I was at Utah. He was the No. 1 strength coach and really he was doing sports performance before sports performance became a high priority in college sports. I’ve known him. I’ve studied him. We’ve had a relationship. I’ve vetted him thoroughly along with our general manager and our owner. Feel great about the hire, and about his expertise at that position," Meyer said.

Despite Meyer saying he was "very confident" there would be no further issues with Doyle, other voices disagreed.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group of NFL scouts, coaches, and front office personnel "committed to equal opportunity in the industry," blasted the hire, calling it "unacceptable" and reflective of a "good ol' boy network" that plagues the league's coaching ranks.

There was no shortage of Doyle critics in the media as well, and it's entirely possible there was dismay over the hire in the Jaguars organization as well. Overall, not the best start for a former college coach that entered the NFL already with a career's worth of baggage behind him.

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