UCLA's DeShaun Foster reaches back for old traditions

We keep memories alive and go on vibrant voyages through unique customs and timeless rituals with our traditions; through them, we pay homage and respect to the past.

Traditions are the keys that unlock the doors to our past, whispering tales of bygone days and forgotten adventures. They are the threads that weave together the fabric of our lives, stitching us to our roots and keeping alive the essence of our cultural heritage. They evoke a profound sense of nostalgia, a bittersweet longing for the past that is so deeply ingrained in our collective memory.

UCLA head coach DeShaun Foster, a living testament to the lore and history of Bruin football, is on a mission. As the lead running back the last time the Sons of Westwood cracked the top 5 in the nation, he understands that traditions aren't just about ceremonies and customs; they're living, breathing expressions of Bruin values and beliefs. His tireless efforts reflect the kaleidoscope of human experience and the resilience of the Bruin spirit, inspiring a renewed sense of hope and unity among fans.

Foster has reinvigorated an apathetic fanbase, evident by the fans who made the trek to Pasadena for the Bruins' Spring Showcase game last Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Alumni that included former football stars like UCLA's all-time leading rusher, Gaston Green, Laiatu Latu, who was selected 15th overall in the 2024 NFL Draft by the Colts, Jon Gaines II of the Arizona Cardinals, NBA basketball star Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls and Donovan Carter of HBO's Ballers. "The support from every era of Bruin history was here today. It was amazing to bring that atmosphere here today to the Rose Bowl for a Spring game," said Foster.

Foster orchestrated a significant event starting with the revival of the Bruin Walk, a forgotten custom that once held great importance for the team and its fans. Supporters and family members lined up along the stadium's entrance, welcoming and cheering for their favorite Bruin. "That's history of the football program, so we are most definitely going to get back to the history." Foster said.

In the past, players would arrive at the stadium, exit the bus, and walk down the ramp into the stadium towards the locker room, with little to no time to interact with their families, friends or fans. With the new addition of an old tradition, it's resonating with the team.

"One of the things that coach Foster made sure it was really important that we got to see our families and spend time with them before the games," redshirt junior quarterback Ethan Garbers said. "That resonated with everybody on the team. Just to be with the ones that we love and are so close with, to see them before we go out to battle, it's really special and really thoughtful for coach Foster to do that."

Foster has experienced the raucous celebrations of a packed Rose Bowl and the synergy passed down from generations of Bruins past in rites steeped in John Wooden wisdom, and he is determined to reinvigorate the program and give his players the same experience.

He has preserved snippets of history and culture for fans and alumni to explore and cherish. Foster is reminding the fanbase of the enduring values that connect us across time and space, bridging the gap between past, present, and future.

Fans and alumni are excited to cherish and celebrate the old traditions as Coach Foster is trying to light a fire under UCLA fans and alumni and have them remember the essence of what it means to be truly a Bruin.

Follow Eric on X @elambsquared and Instagram @elamb5quared.


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