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UCLA Football: Bruins Reportedly Bring Back Ex-Staff Member to Coach Running Backs

Thomas has a preexisting link to UCLA...
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As DeShaun Foster aims to fill out his staff (while building a recruiting class), one interesting position of note is the running back spot. 

Both he and new Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy are obviously quite qualified to man the position themselves individually. According to a report from 247Sports Matt Zenitz, Foster is going to a familiar well for his new running backs coach. 

Marcus Thomas is reportedly slated to be the newest member of the coaching staff. Thomas would be coming over from his most recent stop at San Jose State. 

A native of Louisiana, Thomas was an elite player at Navy before becoming a coach. UCLA hired Thomas as an offensive analyst under Chip Kelly from 2020 to 2021. During this time, it was reported that Thomas worked alongside the tight ends and the running backs.

 In other words, he was learning under the tutelage of Foster (who was the then-UCLA running backs coach). 

Thomas then had a two-year stint back at Navy before ending up this past year with the Spartans. With Brett Brennan moving on to Arizona, Thomas became available. 

Foster needs to build a staff with some preexisting continuity -- but more than that, trust. He's been around Thomas for multiple years and knows what he'd bring to the table as an assistant coach. 

This hire continues the extensive overhauling of UCLA's staff from a season ago. Currently, the only staff members returning from last year include Kodi Whitfield, Brian Norwood, Jerry Neuheisel, and Ikaika Malloe.