Chris Doyle resigns from Jaguars following criticism of hire

Chris Doyle will no longer be a part of the Jaguars' organization.

Amid criticism of his hiring as Jacksonville's director of sports performance, Doyle resigned from the club on Friday night, the team announced.

"Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted," coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke said in a joint statement, which was amended Saturday morning to include Baalke's name after the team said it had been inadvertently left off. "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 hiring came into question due to the manner in which he parted ways with the Iowa Hawkeyes last June following a 20-year tenure under Kirk Ferentz. His departure came on the heels of numerous former players speaking out against the ex-strength and conditioning coach, alleging racism and bullying.

Meyer adamantly defended Doyle's addition while speaking to reporters Thursday, stating that the team "did a very good job vetting" Doyle and noted that he was "very confident" his friend of close to 20 years would not cause any issues despite his checkered past.

In response to the questionable hire, the Fritz Pollard Alliance issued a strong statement Friday afternoon titled "A Failure of Leadership by The Jacksonville Jaguars," condemning the team's decision to bring Doyle aboard.

"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," Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves wrote in the statement. "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."

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