Since then, UCLA has been on a rigorous search to find its new head coach according to Yahoo.
Athletics officials have corresponded with more than a dozen potential candidates for the vacancy created by the departure of Chip Kelly to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, according to one person familiar with the search process who was not authorized to discuss the details publicly.
Among those UCLA is believed to have had contact with who remain possible candidates are Nebraska defensive coordinator Tony White, Las Vegas Raiders running backs coach DeShaun Foster and Stanford coach Troy Taylor.
The next coach will face a monumental challenge given the Bruins’ significant personnel losses on defense and recruiting struggles. UCLA’s most recent recruiting class — including transfers — is ranked No. 59 nationally by 247Sports.com, giving the Bruins their worst rating since the rise of recruiting services before the turn of the century.
UCLA also faces a brutal 2024 schedule that includes games against Louisiana State, Penn State, Oregon, Washington and USC.
The search committee also is expected to have possible interest in Cleveland Browns tight ends coach and pass game specialist Tommy Rees and Baltimore Ravens special teams coordinator Chris Horton.
Among those whom UCLA athletics officials are believed to have corresponded with who are no longer in the running are P.J. Fleck of Minnesota and Arizona’s Brent Brennan.
UCLA Hiring DeShaun Foster To Replace Chip Kelly As Next Head Football Coach
On Monday morning, college football insider Pete Thamel announced the Bruins have made the decision to hire Deshaun Foster as the next team’s football coach.
Sources: UCLA is set to hire DeShaun Foster as the school’s next head coach. He’s is in the UCLA Hall of Fame as a player, worked as an assistant coach there since 2017 and played seven seasons in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/MiGPayT4Jj
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 12, 2024
Foster played in the 1999 Rose Bowl as a star running back and spent the last seven seasons as the Bruins’ running backs coach before recently taking the same post with the Las Vegas Raiders.
DeShuan Foster played for the Bruins from 1998-01, leaving Westwood as a Second Team All-American and a member of the school’s top 10 running backs in rushing yards, touchdowns, and points scored. His 301 rushing yards against Washington in 2001 were a school record at the time.
“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.”
A second round pick by the Carolina Panthers, Foster played seven seasons in the NFL, accumulating 3,570 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He returned to Westwood in 2013 as a student assistant, moved to a graduate assistant the following year, the returned as running backs coach in 2017, where he remained through this past season.
He was set to become the Las Vegas Raiders’ running backs coach, but will now return as head coach following Chip Kelly’s departure for Ohio State. Aside from spending the 2016 season at Texas Tech and his brief stop in Las Vegas, Foster has spent the entirety of his coaching career at UCLA.
DeShaun Foster entered the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2022.
“While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process,” said AD Martin Jarmond. “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.”