DeShaun Foster Describes “Dream Come True” After Replacing Chip Kelly as UCLA Bruins Head Coach

    Former UCLA RB DeShaun Foster is returning to Westwood, replacing former head coach Chip Kelly in the same role at his alma mater.

    The UCLA Bruins made quick work to replace former head coach Chip Kelly this past week. While the moved quickly to search high and low, the eventual replacement was found in a recent staffer and in a person with a rich history in the program.

    DeShaun Foster Hired as Head Coach at UCLA

    DeShaun Foster was named the Bruins’ 19th head coach on February 12, 2024, just 10 days after announcing he was hired as the Las Vegas Raiders running backs coach. A former Bruin great himself, Foster comes back to UCLA after 10 years of coaching on the staff and 11 years of college coaching experience.

    Foster had spent the previous seven seasons with the program, serving as the running backs coach under Kelly for all but one of those seasons. Previously, he had spent the 2013-15 seasons with the program as an assistant before a one-year jaunt to Texas Tech in the same position.

    A former second-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, Foster spent seven seasons in the NFL, racking up 3,570 yards and 11 touchdowns in a six-year stint with the Carolina Panthers and a single season with the San Francisco 49ers.

    With the Bruins, however, is where Foster originally made his name known to fans. In his breakout season of 2000, Foster recorded 1,037 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

    Foster continued that breakout success in his senior season with UCLA, recorded 1,109 yards and 12 touchdowns during the 2001 season. He set the UCLA record for rushing yards in a game (301 vs. Washington) and tied the record for rushing touchdowns in a game (4) as well. Maurice Jones-Drew would eventually break both of those records set by Foster.

    In his statement about Foster’s hiring, UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond explained how Foster was the ideal choice for the role in the ever-changing nature of college football.

    “While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process,” 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 himself echoed Jarmond’s excitement, stating it was a dream to become a Bruin forever.

    “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.”

    MORE: College Football Coaching Carousel

    “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.”

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