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Iowa’s Doyle highest paid strength coach

Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle has been a long-time partner of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. He’s been one of the prime reasons why Iowa has been known to develop two and three-star players into quality NFL players. 

Last season Doyle earned $675,000 in basic pay. Thanks to a provision in Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz’s contract, the university agreed to fund certain average pay increases for assistants and other staff based on the team’s on-field and academic performance each season.

Nearly 150 college football coaches make a half-million dollars or more, 21 eclipse the $1 million mark, according to USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz.  Three of the top five cumulative staff salaries (Texas A&M, Auburn, and LSU) reside in the SEC.  The highest paid strength and conditioning coach?  Iowa’s Chris Doyle at $725,000.  Doyle’s work will be on display when the Hawkeyes play Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl”

Redshirt freshman linebacker Djimon Colbert is another successful product that has emerged due to Doyle’s work regiment. Colbert was a 205-pound safety out of Bishop Miege High School in Kansas. He entered the program with the expectation of becoming the next Bob Sanders. Throughout his redshirt year, Iowa decided his talents would best fit for a linebacker role. Doyle and company proceeded to put 30 pounds on him by Spring ball and he was running with the backups at linebacker and eventually became a starter for the Hawkeyes.

Another prime example of Doyle’s work is the 2002 offensive line that was led by Robert Gallery, who came to Iowa as a 240-pound tight end. Bruce Nelson, another 240 pounder and former walk-on who became an All American center. There are too many examples to cite, but year-in and year-out results show the work that Doyle and the players put in.

“What disturbs me is right now is that Iowa is a bigger, stronger football team,” Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost said following Iowa’s 31-28 win on Black Friday. “Give their guys credit, they’ve had three, four years in Iowa’s strength and conditioning program. We’ve had one year. They leaned on us quite a bit, especially in the first half.”

There are currently 26 Hawkeye players in the NFL and 13 are offensive or defensive linemen. That position requires more power, strength, and technique than almost any other position on the field and Doyle is a primary reason Iowa has been known to develop linemen. This also includes Washington Redskin star offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, who hang cleaned 480 pounds in a team workout.


“We see them every day with training,” Doyle told HawkeyeSports in a Twitter video. “One of the best parts of our job as a strength and conditioning coach is the quality interaction and relationships we are afforded in being around the players a lot. That’s what makes the job fun.” 

Doyle’s continued expertise and intensity are a key part of the Ferentz era and former players are among the first to thank him when they move on to the NFL. 

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