UCLA has hired program legend and longtime assistant DeShaun Foster as its new coach just three days after the sudden departure of Chip Kelly. Foster, who played running back for the Bruins and later worked as an assistant under both Jim L. Mora and Kelly, was hired as the running backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders 10 days ago. Now, he returns to his alma mater to replace Kelly, who left the Bruins on Friday to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State in a stunning and unprecedented move.
Foster’s initial contract at UCLA covers five years, according to ESPN.
“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 in a statement. “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 was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022 following a brilliant career with Bruins from 1998-2001 in which he finished with 44 touchdowns and 3,129 yards rushing, both of which rank top-three in program history. He spent seven years in the NFL and began his coaching career in 2013 as a student assistant at UCLA under Mora. He was a graduate assistant with the Bruins from 2014-15 and returned to the staff in 2017 as running backs coach, a title he held through the 2023 season. He also has a brief stint at Texas Tech (2016) on his résumé.
“This is a dream come true,” Foster said. “I always…