Jaguars add Chris Doyle, former Iowa strength coach accused of racism and bullying

New Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer has filled out his staff, but it's not without some significant controversy.

The team announced that former Iowa Hawkeyes head strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who left the program June 15 after allegations of racism and bullying surfaced, will serve as Jacksonville's director of sport performance.

Meyer said that franchise owner Shad Khan and general manager Trent Baalke signed off on the decision.

"I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years," Meyer said Thursday in a news conference. "Our relationship goes back to when I was at Utah and he was the No. 1 strength coach. I vetted him thoroughly along with our general manager and owner. I feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position. We vetted him thoroughly and sports performance is going to be a high, high priority.”

An external investigation by the Husch Blackwell law firm from last summer revealed that Iowa's Black players felt they were treated harshly.

"In sum, the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity," the report said. "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."

Former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle left the program June 15 after allegations of racism and bullying surfaced.

The report largely exonerated Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and came after former Hawkeyes took to social media to point to Doyle as the largest impediment to fostering a racially inclusive atmosphere within the football program. The Hawkeyes placed Doyle on administrative leave June 6 while the investigation proceeded, before ultimately reaching a separation agreement.

The separation agreement included a $1.1 million settlement that included no admission of wrongdoing.

Doyle had been at Iowa for 21 seasons.

Many Black players accused him of telling them he was going to "send them back to the ghetto" if they didn't meet his standards. Others said Doyle criticized their attire or the way they wore their hair.

In response to the allegations, Doyle defended himself on social media, denied the allegations and said "at no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based on race. I do not make racists comments and I don't tolerate people that do." 

He added that he was "asked to remain silent" but that was "impossible for me to do."

Contributing: Mark Emmert, Hawk Central