New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has defended the hiring of a former controversial coach who has previously been accused of racism and bullying.
The NFL team announced on Thursday that they had hired Chris Doyle, the former University of Iowa strength and conditioning coach, to be the team’s director of sports performance.
Doyle, who was on the staff at the University of Iowa from 1999-2019, was placed on administrative leave by the school in June after several former Iowa players accused him of racism. Shortly after, the university and Doyle agreed to part ways.
However, Meyer, who was hired by the Florida-based team in January after the team fired Doug Marrone, defended the hire, saying that his relationship with Doyle goes back 20 years.
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“I feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position,” Meyer said during his media availability on Thursday.
“I vet everyone on our staff, 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 our staff. We did a very good job vetting that one.”
Meyer previously coached in the college ranks at the University of Utah, University of Florida, and most recently at Ohio State.
Meyer added: “I know the person for close to 20 years, and I can assure them there will be nothing of any sort in the Jaguar facility.”
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Meyer said he doesn’t believe that the accusations of racism attributed to Doyle at Iowa will prevent Jacksonville from attracting free agents.
Shortly after being placed on administrative leave at Iowa in June, 2020, Doyle posted a statement on Twitter — which has since been deleted — saying the accusations about his behavior are “not true.”
Among the other hires that Meyer made on his first NFL staff include former Detroit Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator and Joe Cullen as defensive coordinator.