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    DeShaun Foster completes UCLA football coaching staff
    • March 13, 2024

    DeShaun Foster’s first coaching staff at UCLA has officially taken shape for the 2024 season after four additional hires were announced Wednesday.

    Foster had previously hired former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as Foster’s associate head coach and offense coordinator in late February.

    The duo had since worked together to add new members of the offensive staff while reshuffling some of the roles for some of the members of the previous staff that had just received promotions.

    “We are building a staff of teachers,” Foster said in a statement. “These coaches have picked up a diverse skillset from working on every level of football and they are hungry to share that knowledge with the players of our program.

    “Their passion for the game and coaching reflects what we are actively instilling in our players – approaching everything they do with discipline, respect and enthusiasm – and I am excited to watch them work together.”

    Juan Castillo has been hired to lead the Bruins’ offensive line, replacing Tim Drevno, who had been promoted to running game coordinator after signing a new two-year deal in January before then-head coach Chip Kelly left Westwood for Ohio State. Drevno was expected to earn $1.21 million, according to the contract obtained by Bruin Blitz.

    Castillo has spent most of the past 28 years working in the NFL, outside of a year as an offensive analyst for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines in 2019. He also worked with Bieniemy in 2023 as the Commanders’ running game coordinator.

    Ted White has been hired to lead a quarterback room that features returners Ethan Garbers and Collin Schlee.

    White has experience as a player and coach at the professional level. He was most recently a quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans in 2022 but has experience working at the college level, as an offensive coordinator and position coach at Howard and Arkansas–Pine Bluff.

    Garbers and Schlee are expected to compete for the starting quarterback role this season as the Bruins prepare for their inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference.

    Billy Fessler, who was originally hired as the quarterbacks coach by Kelly in January, will remain with the Bruins as an offensive analyst for the upcoming season.

    Jerry Neuheisel was also reassigned to tight ends coach after spending the past three seasons as the wide receivers coach.

    Erik Frazier was hired to take over a receivers room that features the Bruins’ top two leading receivers, Logan Loya and J. Michael Sturdivant. Frazier spent two seasons (2021-22) with the Tennessee Titans, coaching A.J. Brown and former UCLA standout Kyle Philips. Frazier has spent six years as a coach at the FCS level and spent the 2017 season as a coach for Northwestern.

    Marcus Thomas returns to Westwood to take over a running back room that Foster led for the past six seasons. Thomas was previously the Bruins’ offensive analyst (2020, 2021) and the program’s director of strategic intelligence (2019) before leaving to become the Navy’s director of player personnel in 2022. In 2023, he coached the slot backs for his alma mater.

    TJ Harden will return as UCLA’s starting running back. He rushed for 857 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Harden also contributed as a receiver, with 19 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.

    Foster did not change the defensive coaching staff since he was hired as head coach.

    Inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. decided to join the Commanders’ coaching staff in February after spending the past two seasons at his alma mater. Defensive coordinator Ikaika Malloe is expected to handle the responsibilities as the inside linebackers coach.

    UCLA has not publicly announced hirings for several off-field roles that became vacant this offseason, including positions held by Darren Uscher (director of recruiting) and Ethan Young (director of player personnel).

    Despite the uptick in the university’s recruiting efforts in recent months, with several scholarship offers being sent out and announced publicly by the recipients on social media, the Bruins saw prominent departures to the recruiting staff.

    Uscher was a player personnel and scouting consultant for the Oregon Ducks in 2023 before arriving in Westwood. He also spent time at Auburn, Boise State and Georgetown throughout his career. Uscher has since returned to Oregon.

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    Young joined the program in 2018 as director of strategic intelligence and was promoted to director of player personnel in 2019. Young was in charge of running UCLA’s recruiting department but is no longer with the staff.


    DeShaun Foster – Head Coach

    Eric Bieniemy – Associate Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator

    Ted White – Quarterbacks

    Marcus Thomas – Running Backs

    Juan Castillo – Offensive Line

    Erik Frazier – Wide Receivers

    Jerry Neuheisel – Tight Ends

    Ikaika Malloe – Defensive Coordinator, Inside Linebackers

    Brian Norwood – Assistant Head Coach, Passing Game Coordinator, Safeties

    Tony Washington Jr. – Defensive Line, Outside Linebackers

    Kodi Whitfield – Special Teams Coordinator, Cornerbacks

    ​ Orange County Register