Less than a month into the job as Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach, Urban Meyer has sparked yet another controversy. The Jaguars announced Meyer’s 31-member staff on Thursday, which received immediate criticism for the inclusion of Chris Doyle as the director of sports performance.
Doyle makes the move to the NFL following 21 years as Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach. Iowa placed Doyle on administrative leave in June 2020 amid allegations of racist and bullying behavior towards players.
In a since-deleted tweet, Doyle denied the allegations saying that “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.” Days later, Iowa announced that it had parted ways with Doyle in a $1.1 million separation agreement.
During a press conference Thursday, Meyer defended his decision to hire Doyle.
“I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years,” Meyer said. “I vetted him thoroughly along with our general manager and owner. Feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position.”
Meyer added that he is very confident that there will be no issues surrounding Doyle moving forward.
The New and The Old
Meyer named a familiar face to be his assistant head coach and linebackers coach. Charlie Strong, who worked under Meyer at Florida during the 2006 and 2008 championship seasons, will make his NFL debut as a coach. Strong most recently worked as a defensive analyst for the Alabama Crimson Tide, helping them win the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship.
Watch LIVE as Urban Meyer, Charlie Strong, Darrell Bevell, Joe Cullen and Brian Schneider meet with the media to discuss the 2021 coaching staff. https://t.co/V7ifNxkslU
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) February 11, 2021
All four coordinators come from within the NFL but outside of the Jaguars organization. Darrell Bevell was named offensive coordinator, previously serving as interim head coach and offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.
Joe Cullen is the defensive coordinator, formerly with the Baltimore Ravens as the defensive line coach. Brian Schneider is the special teams’ coordinator and Brian Schottenheimer is the passing game coordinator, both coming from the Seattle Seahawks.
Meyer retained five coaches from the Jaguars’ previous coaching staff. Offensive line coach George Warhop, cornerbacks coach Tim Walton, nickels defensive backs coach Joe Danna, assistant linebackers coach Tony Gilbert, and assistant strength coach Cedric Scott.
Meyer stated that his first major objective as head coach was to build an elite coaching staff. Experience in the NFL and expertise in each position was important to Meyer.
“Nine-oh-four deserves the very best; I feel great about this staff,” Meyer said.