Head Coach of the Offseason

Aug. 1, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — With NCAA restrictions limiting summer contact between players and coaches, University of Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle is head coach of the offseason.

“I spend a lot of time with coach Doyle,” said senior linebacker James Morris. “He is one of those guys where he sets the tempo for workouts.

“You need someone that is a cattle-herder in that capacity. He pushes guys and is good at his job.”

Doyle has been with UI head coach Kirk Ferentz for the duration of his 14-season tenure with the Hawkeyes. Ferentz made it a priority to find the right person when he arrived in Iowa City, and Doyle fit the bill.

“Back then I viewed that as the most important position on our staff, and after 14 plus years, I (still) think that position is critical. He spends more time with our players, and knows their body.”
UI head coach Kirk Ferentz on Chris Doyle

“Back then I viewed that as the most important position on our staff, and after 14 plus years, I (still) think that position is critical,” said Ferentz. “He spends more time with our players, and knows their body.

“We’re restricted in term of contact and (the summer) is an uncomfortable time because in May, June, and July, you’re not seeing your players. At least Chris has the chance to interact with them.”

Senior linebacker Christian Kirksey says Doyle’s track record of developing players makes him one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country.

“He has been developing players for a long time,” said Kirksey. “I have seen him bring a 220-pound lineman and turn him into a 300-pound lineman. That’s great weight, not sloppy weight.

“I have seen what he has done developing me. I came in as a 190-pound linebacker playing in the Big Ten and now I am 230. I can see he has helped me out. He is as good as the strength and conditioning coaches at the next level. It makes you appreciative of him.”

UI senior offensive lineman Brett Van Sloten says Doyle’s equation is simple: work hard and listen and the results will follow.

“As long as you’re willing to work hard and keep your mouth shut, he’ll do wonders for you,” said Van Sloten, who started 12 games at right tackle in 2012. “They have a program that helps us reach our potential, and they’re always there to keep pushing us.

“When you set the bar high, they set it higher because they know how high you can get. They’ve been around to know what it takes. As long as you’re willing to buy into it, the sky is the limit.”

Morris says one of Doyle’s greatest strengths is his ability to push players to levels they didn’t know were possible.

“His job is to get them out of their comfort zone,” said Morris. “He does that very well and in a lot of ways, that’s one of his greatest skills. He has pushed me and helped me become a better player.”

Morris understands Doyle’s motives.

“You have to understand he has the same interests as you do, and that interest is winning as many games as we can,” he said. “For us to do that is for you to be the best player you can be.

“Sometimes you need to be poked and pushed out of your comfort zone, and he is particularly skilled in that area.”

Single-game tickets for all seven Hawkeye home contests inside Kinnick Stadium can be purchased online by clicking HERE, over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS, or in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa opens the season Aug. 31, hosting Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. (CT).