Jaguars Assistant Coach Chris Doyle Resigns After Backlash

Jaguars Assistant Coach Chris Doyle Resigns After Backlash

- in Football

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the resignation of the strength coach Chris Doyle on Friday night, not long after an organization that promotes diversity in the N.F.L. called the recent decision to hire Doyle “simply unacceptable.”

Doyle, whose hiring by the Jaguars was announced on Thursday, left the University of Iowa’s football staff last year after a number of current and former Hawkeyes players said he had fostered a culture of bullying and racism.

The Associated Press first reported a statement from Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer saying that Doyle had resigned and that he had accepted the resignation.

“Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville,” Meyer said in his statement. “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.”

Meyer, who won two college national championships as the head coach at Florida and one at Ohio State, has not coached since 2018 and has not worked in the N.F.L. before. He officially hired Doyle as Jacksonville’s director of sports performance and said that the decision had been scrutinized at the highest levels of the franchise.

“We did a very good job vetting that one,” Meyer told reporters on Thursday.

During a news conference last week, N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he was not satisfied with the rate at which coaches of color have been hired in the N.F.L., which has 32 teams.

“It wasn’t what we expected,” he said of the diversity in the round of hirings after the 2020 season, “and it’s not what we expect going forward.”

Of the seven head coaches hired since the end of the regular season, just two were nonwhite. Last year, one of five head coaching jobs went to a minority candidate, and the year before, just one in eight.

Over the last three years, 80 percent of head coaching jobs have gone to white candidates, though players of color made up 69.4 percent of the N.F.L. this season, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

After the Jaguars hired Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke, who are both white, last month, Graves praised the organization for interviewing several minority candidates and for seeking input from the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

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