Chris Doyle, at the center of Iowa's racial bias scandal, lands with Jacksonville Jaguars
Nearly eight months after becoming the central figure in allegations of racial bias within the Iowa football program and being ousted after 21 years as the Hawkeyes' strength and conditioning coach, Chris Doyle has landed a job in the NFL.
Doyle on Thursday was announced as the Jacksonville Jaguars' director of sport performance. Doyle's new boss is none other than Urban Meyer, the former Ohio State coach who was hired to lead the Jaguars.
Doyle's hiring is news, not only in Iowa but nationally. He was accused with leading a culture that created racial bias and disparities for more than a decade.
The barrage of allegations led to a $1.1 million separation agreement from Doyle was announced June 15 by the University of Iowa, and an outside investigation later in the summer found that the Hawkeyes' power structure "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."
While Doyle wasn't the only coach named by allegations from 50-plus former players (almost all of them Black), he was the only one removed from the program. Doyle has not conducted an interview on the matter since but defended his performance in statements, including on June 7 in which he wrote, "At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race. I do not make racist comments, and I don't tolerate people who do. I am confident that a complete review of the body or work over 21 years will speak for itself."
As part of Doyle's separation agreement, he was to receive payments of $556,249.50 on Aug. 1, 2020, and the other on Jan. 1, 2021 — for a total of $1,112,499. He was the nation's highest-paid strength coach at the time of his removal, at nearly $900,000 per year.
Over the past six months, the Iowa football culture has consistently received reports of progress and improvement since Doyle's removal, including from Black players. Recently, 23rd-year head coach Kirk Ferentz said that Raimond Braithwaite, Doyle's longtime top assistant, would be elevated to head strength coach at Iowa.
Ferentz and Doyle are among the defendants in a lawsuit filed in November by 13 Black former players over "targeted and discriminatory behavior" during their time in the Iowa program.