"While undergoing a comprehensive search for our new head coach, DeShaun resonated from the start and throughout the whole process," Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said in a statement Monday.
"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 (name, image, likeness) 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."
The Los Angeles Times said UCLA's search included 11 interviews, as well as correspondence with more than 20 candidates — all in the three days since Kelly stepped down.
Foster, a UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame inductee in 2022, spent the past seven seasons as the Bruins' running backs coach, and served as associate head coach in 2023. Earlier this month, he had accepted the position of running backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders.
He has 11 years of college coaching experience, including 10 at UCLA. In 2022, he was a nominee for the Broyles Award, presented annually to college football's top assistant coach.
UCLA Bruins running back coach DeShaun Foster during a college football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the UCLA Bruins on October 2, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
"This is a dream come true," Foster said in a statement released by the school. "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, a UCLA running back from 1998-2001, is one of the most decorated running backs in UCLA history. He finished his Bruins career second in touchdowns scored (44), third in rushing yards (3,194) and fifth in scoring (266 points).
He also was a second-team All-American 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 recorded a then-school record 301 rushing yards, along with four touchdowns, on 31 carries.
Foster's ascension comes as UCLA is preparing for its first season playing in the Big Ten Conference, and three days after Kelly announced he was leaving the Bruins to take an offensive coordinator position at Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State University.
Kelly informed UCLA officials Friday morning. Kelly amassed a 35-34 record in his six seasons leading the Bruins. He was hired at the end of the 2017 following the ouster of coach Jim Mora.
Foster is expected to be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday at UCLA.