Iowa ditches embattled strength coach Chris Doyle, who is accused of contributing to ‘racial disparities in the football program’


One longtime member of the Iowa football program is now officially a former member.

Sunday, Iowa announced that athletic director Gary Barta would conduct a press conference Monday at 2 p.m. ET.  While the subject matter wasn’t divulged, we now know what it’ll be as Iowa announced late this morning that it has reached a separation agreement with football strength coach Chris Doyle.  The separation is effective immediately.

June 6, Iowa announced that Doyle had been placed on administrative leave.  Additionally, the school stated, an independent review will be conducted into allegations that Doyle directly contributed to “racial disparities in the Iowa football program.”

The development came after former Hawkeye football players took to social media en masse in the past couple of days to accuse Doyle of creating a hostile environment. Specifically, as it pertained to black Iowa football players. One former player spoke of Doyle mocking black football players that “made you walk around the football facility on eggshells … and caused anxiety that could be unbearable at times with your dreams and career on the line.”

“There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program,” former starting offensive lineman James Daniels wrote in a tweet. “Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.”

In addition to the separation agreement, the school’s release also stated that the University of Iowa Office of General Counsel has engaged the Kansas City law firm of Husch Blackwell to conduct an independent review of issues and allegations relating to racial disparities within the football program.

“We wish Chris the best moving forward in his career,” Barta said in a portion of a statement. Interestingly, no statement from head coach Kirk Ferentz was included.

Doyle has been the strength coach at Iowa since 1999. Last year, he was the highest-paid at his position in the country.

According to the school’s separation agreement, Doyle will be paid 15 months worth of base salary.  He will be paid $556,249.50 in two lump-sum payments, the first on Aug. 1, 2020, and the second on Jan. 1, 2021.  The university will also pay Doyle’s health and dental benefits for the next 15 months as well.

“Iowa City has been home to our family for 21 years,” Doyle, who has vehemently denied the allegations, said in his statement. “I am grateful Iowa football provided an opportunity to work with incredible players, coaches, and support staff. I have worked diligently to make a positive impact on the lives of student-athletes, support them as they speak out, and look forward to continued growth. I am confident that my record and character will be confirmed in the course of the independent review. The University and I have reached an agreement and it is time to move on from Iowa football. My family and I are looking forward to the next chapter.”

Doyle’s son, a linebacker on the Iowa football team, announced last week that he is transferring from the Hawkeyes.