Jacksonville Jaguars director of sports performance Chris Doyle resigned late on Friday evening due to the controversy generated by his hire to head coach Urban Meyer’s staff.
Doyle had an extremely short-lived tenure and was a polarizing hire made by Meyer for alleged racist conduct while at the University of Iowa.
Chris Doyle out as Jacksonville Jaguars director of sports performance
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news of Doyle’s resignation, and featured a statement from Meyer on the matter:
To be clear, it wasn’t Meyer who let him go, but rather Doyle who voluntarily parted ways with the organization. However, the head coach did suggest he’d made a mistake by bringing Doyle into the fold.
As CNN noted, Doyle got placed on administrative leave by Iowa in June because of several Hawkeyes players accusing him of racism.
Chris Doyle gets Urban Meyer’s Jacksonville Jaguars tenure off to rough start
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes diversity in the NFL, came out and condemned the Jags for bringing Doyle aboard as Meyer tried to defend the hire. Their statement was obtained by ESPN’s Josina Anderson:
This isn’t the first time Meyer has been involved with someone of questionable character on his staff. Dating back to his time as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Meyer had Zach Smith in the fold as a recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, and was with Meyer for five years before joining him in Columbus.
Smith wound up getting fired due to a history of domestic violence, which Meyer vaguely and inadequately addressed in a series of uncomfortable sessions with the media.
The bottom line is there were enough red flags, according to records obtained throughout the investigation, that Meyer had to know enough to fire Smith far earlier than he did. Hiring Doyle is the latest lapse in judgment from Meyer, and if something similar happens again, it’d be hard to envision the Jaguars fanbase rallying behind him fully.
Doyle wasn’t necessarily a high-profile member of the staff, and once Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence goes to the Jaguars with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, all this will blow over and, in all likelihood, be forgotten by many, especially if the team enjoys immediate success under Meyer’s leadership.
For now, the Doyle situation stands as the biggest move Meyer has made during his time in Jacksonville, and the optics are not good.