UCLA Bruins Hire New Head Coach, Name Fan-Favorite To Replace Chip Kelly

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Days after Chip Kelly abruptly left for a demotion to become the Ohio State Buckeyes offensive coordinator, the UCLA Bruins have found their new head coach to lead this football program into the future.

Kelly, who avoided being fired by UCLA following a disappointing season, was openly exploring exit strategies this offseason. After being turned down for multiple offensive coordinator positions in the NFL, he went to Ohio State following Bill O’Brien’s departure to become the Boston College head coach.

The Bruins’ athletic department was forced to act quickly with its coaching search. With National Signing Day over and a majority of college head coaches fully committed to their jobs, the Bruins’ coaching search still landed on a hire that should make fans, players, and alumni happy.

According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, UCLA is set to hire DeShaun Foster as the new Bruins head coach. The deal is expected to be completed this week, allowing Foster to quickly put together a revamped UCLA coaching staff for the 2024 season.

“Foster impressed the UCLA brass with his ability to lead and command a room. He’s worked under Kliff Kingsbury, Jim Mora, Chip Kelly and played in a Super Bowl under John Fox. They see him as a modern CEO coach who can identify and develop players.”

Pete Thamel on UCLA Bruins head coach DeShaun Foster
  • DeShaun Foster stats (UCLA Bruins): 3,049 rushing yards, 4.4 ypc, 39 rushing touchdowns

Here’s a quick background on Foster with insight into why he is the newest Bruins football coach.

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Why UCLA chose DeShaun Foster as head coach

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Foster, 44, immediately emerged as one of the most viable options at UCLA to replace Kelly. A second-team All-American for the Bruins in 2021, he was later selected with the 34th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. After a seven-year NFL career, Foster returned to UCLA in 2013 as a student assistant and worked his way up the coaching ladder.

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According to Thamel, UCLA interviewed 11 coaching candidates after Kelly left for Ohio State. Bruins’ officials ultimately determined that Foster was the perfect hire to rebuild this football program, helping UCLA become relevant as it moves into the Big Ten Conference.

Foster was previously set to become the running backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders under Antonio Pierce. Following Kelly’s departure, the Bruins moved quickly to bring him home. The hire will also be well-received by UCLA’s locker room after their former coach’s sudden exit.