DeShaun Foster hired as UCLA’s new head football coach

LOS ANGELES – UCLA Athletic Hall of Famer DeShaun Foster has been named the 19th head coach in UCLA football history, The Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond made the announcement.

UCLA held an introductory press conference at Pauley Pavilion for Foster on Feb. 13.

Foster has 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 10 at his alma mater. He also coached one year at Texas Tech. Foster spent the past seven seasons as the Bruins’ running backs coach and served as associate head coach in 2023. In 2022, he was a nominee for the Broyles Award, presented annually to college football’s top assistant coach.

“While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process,” said 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.”

“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.”

UCLA led the Pac-12 in rushing offense each of the last two seasons and has posted three consecutive top-20 finishes nationally. In pacing the league, the Bruins achieved a program first since 1976.

The 2022 group averaged 237.2 yards on the ground, contributing to the best overall offensive performance in school history (503.6 yards per game). Zach Charbonnet was at the forefront of the attack, logging a per-game rate of 135.9 yards that led the conference and ranked fourth in the country. He led the nation in all-purpose yards, averaging 168.0 per contest.

Charbonnet became the third player to eclipse 100 rushing yards per game during Foster’s tenure as running backs coach, joining Demetric Felton Jr. (111.3 in 2020) and Joshua Kelley (113.0 in 2018).

A UCLA running back has been selected in four straight NFL drafts: Charbonnet (Seattle, 2023), Brittain Brown (Las Vegas, 2022), Felton (Cleveland, 2021) and Kelley (Los Angeles Chargers, 2020). Foster was also on staff when Paul Perkins’ 121.2 rushing yards per game led the Pac-12 in 2014.

Himself an accomplished NFL running back, Foster played seven seasons for the Carolina Panthers (2002-07) and San Francisco 49ers (2008). He ran for more than 800 yards in each of his final three campaigns with Carolina, breaking the 1,000-yard mark when including playoff games in 2005.

In Super Bowl XXXVIII, Foster scampered 33 yards up the left sideline before extending for a fourth-quarter touchdown that still ranks as the sixth-longest touchdown run in Super Bowl history.

Foster is one of the most decorated running backs in UCLA history, completing his playing career second in touchdowns scored (44), third in rushing yards (3,194) and fifth in scoring (266 points).

He earned second-team All-America acclaim in 2001 after leading the Pac-10 in rushing (138.6 yards per game), scoring (9.75 points per game) and all-purpose yards (154.75 per game). Against Washington at Rose Bowl Stadium, Foster piled up a then-school record 301 rushing yards, along with four touchdowns, on 31 carries.

Foster set another school record in 2000, rushing 42 times in UCLA’s 35-24 season-opening win versus No. 3 Alabama at the Rose Bowl. He ended the game with 187 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Foster burst onto the scene as a true freshman for the 1998 Pac-10 champion Bruins, scoring four times in the Bruins’ 34-17 victory against USC.

Foster, who graduated from UCLA in 2014, was enshrined in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 7, 2022. The next year, he became part of the California High School Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural class for his accomplishments at Tustin High School in Tustin, Calif.

He is married to Charity Washington, and has two sons, Noel Washington (14) and Nolen Washington (12), and daughters Viviana Foster (8) and Destiny Foster (5 months).

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