UCLA hired DeShaun Foster as the school’s next head coach on Monday.
Foster, who had taken a job as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ running backs coach in recent weeks, is in the UCLA Hall of Fame as a player, is a longtime assistant coach and played seven seasons in the NFL. He emerged among a pool of 11 candidates interviewed by UCLA, many of whom were a sitting head coach.
“This is a dream come true,” Foster said in a statement. “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 impressed the UCLA brass with his ability to lead and command a room. Per sources, school officials believe Foster can resonate in the Los Angeles market and emphasize recruiting and fundraising.
He’s consistently produced NFL tailbacks while an assistant coach at UCLA and was the overwhelming choice of the current players. Foster has worked under Kliff Kingsbury, Jim Mora, Chip Kelly and played in a Super Bowl with the Carolina Panthers under John Fox. They see him as a modern CEO coach who can identify and develop players.
“While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process,” 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 replaces Kelly, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State last week.