New Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer finalized his coaching staff Thursday, and one name that stuck out was former Iowa Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who will serve as the new Jags director of sports performance.
Doyle spent 20 years at Iowa under Kirk Ferentz but parted ways with the program in June 2020 after numerous former Iowa players spoke out against the 52-year-old alleging racism and bullying.
Despite the tumultuous exit from Iowa, Meyer defended the hire and his vetting of Doyle when speaking to reporters Thursday.
"I've known Chris for close to 20 years. Our relationship goes back to when I was at Utah, and he was the No. 1 strength coach," Meyer said of Doyle, who was at Utah in 1998 before moving to Iowa. "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 vetted him thoroughly, along with our general manager [Trent Baalke] and owner [Shad Khan]. Feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position. So we vetted him thoroughly. Sports performance is going to be a high, high priority. As it really in the last probably 10 years, certainly at Ohio State, that became if not the most important -- you know my relationship with Coach [Mickey] Marotti at Ohio State -- but this whole from strength training room, physical therapy, sports psychology, and nutrition all falls under the sports performance team umbrella. And I wanted to get the best of the best."
Meyer said he had no reservations based on what transpired at Iowa.
"I vet everyone on our staff," he said. "And like I said, the relationship goes back close to 20 years, and a lot of hard questions asked. A lot of vetting involved with all of our staff. We did a very good job vetting that one."
Meyer added that he is "very confident" there will be no issues with Doyle in Jacksonville. The new coach also said he doesn't believe that the accusations of racism attributed to Doyle at Iowa will prevent Jacksonville from attracting free agents.