UCLA names former RB DeShaun Foster head coach

UCLA named former Bruins running back DeShaun Foster as the program’s 19th head coach on Monday.

Foster, 44, replaces Chip Kelly, who departed last week to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State.

Foster has 11 years of coaching experience following a six-season playing career in the NFL from 2003-08.

He has spent the past 10 seasons at his alma mater, including the past seven as running backs coach. He was the Bruins’ associate head coach in 2023.

“This is a dream come true,” Foster said. “I always envisioned being a Bruin ever since I was young, and now being the head coach at my alma mater is such a surreal feeling, and I’m grateful for this opportunity. The foundation of this program will be built on discipline, respect and enthusiasm. These are phenomenal young men, and I’m excited to hit the ground running.”

Foster played at UCLA from 1998-2001, rushing for 3,194 yards and 44 touchdowns and earning second-team All-American honors as a senior.

Drafted in the second round by Carolina in 2002, he rushed for 3,570 yards and 11 touchdowns in 79 games (42 starts) with the Panthers (2003-07) and San Francisco 49ers (2008).

“While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said. “We are looking for a coach with integrity, energy and passion; someone who is a great teacher, who develops young men, is a great recruiter and fully embraces the NIL landscape to help our student-athletes. DeShaun checks all of those boxes and then some. He is a leader of men and a true Bruin. I am excited to partner with him as we usher UCLA Football into an exciting new era.”

Foster takes over a program that finished 8-5 last season under Kelly, including 4-5 in the Pac-12. The Bruins move into the Big Ten Conference in 2024.

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