LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said he would give him 96 hours to find a new football coach after Chip Kelly resigned Friday. It turns out that Jarmond needed less than 72.
Former UCLA great DeShaun Foster was named head coach on Monday to take over the program after Kelly left to become offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Foster was a Bruins assistant for the past seven years, but left last month to become the Las Vegas Raiders running backs coach.
This is a dream come true, Foster said in a statement. I've always imagined being a Bruin 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 get started.
This will be Foster's first head coaching job after 11 years as an assistant in college, 10 of which were at UCLA. He was the running backs coach at Texas Tech in 2016.
Foster was promoted to head coach last season and coached running backs. In 2022, he was nominated for the Broyles Award, given annually to college football's top assistant.
While undergoing an extensive search for our next head coach, DeShaun resonated from the beginning and throughout the process, Jarmond said in a statement. We are looking for a coach with integrity, energy and passion; someone who is a great teacher, who trains young men, is a great recruiter and fully embraces the NIL landscape to help our student-athletes. DeShaun checks all those boxes and then some. He is a leader of men and a true Bruin. I look forward to working with him as we usher UCLA Football into an exciting new era.
Foster's return comes two months before the Bruins begin spring training as they prepare to join the Big Ten Conference. It could also help mitigate a major roster exodus, as players have a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal after a coaching change.
UCLA's running game was one of its strengths during Kelly's six seasons in charge. The Bruins led the Pac-12 in rushing the past two years and were ranked in the top 20 nationally for three straight seasons.
Foster coached running backs selected in the NFL draft four years in a row Zach Charbonnet (Seattle, 2023), Brittain Brown (Las Vegas, 2022), Demetric Felton (Cleveland, 2021) and Joshua Kelley (Los Angeles Chargers, 2020) .
Foster was also the Bruins running back the last time they won the Pac-12 and went to the Rose Bowl in 1998. He remains second in school history in touchdowns (44) and third in rushing yards (3,194).
Kelly had a 35-34 record with the Bruins, but the program showed signs of stagnation prior to the move to the Big Ten.
UCLA was expected to challenge for a Pac-12 title in 2023 but was 8-5, including losses in three of their last four regular season games.
Jarmond decided not to make a move late last season, but Kelly expressed interest in NFL offensive coordinator jobs and opening at Boston College before heading to Ohio State. Kelly also talked to Oregon about a possible return two years ago.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/college-football
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