Kelly Skipper joined the Bruin staff for the 1998 season after spending the previous nine years as a coach at Fresno State. He returns for his second season as offensive coordinator in 2002 after serving as running backs and kickoff return team coach in his first three seasons at UCLA.
In 2001, running back DeShaun Foster set a school record for yards in a game (301 vs. Washington) and became the fastest Bruin back to reach 1,000 yards for a season (seventh game). He was named first-team all-conference for the second straight season. Foster finished his career as the number two touchdown scorer in UCLA history and the school’s third-leading rusher. In 2000, Foster rushed for 1,037 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. In 1998, Foster set school rushing and scoring records for true freshman and fellow running back Jermaine Lewis scored 13 touchdowns to rank among the conference leaders.
Six of Skipper’s Bruin running backs — tailback DeShaun Foster (Panthers), fullback Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (Texans), fullback Matt Stanley (49’ers), fullback Craig Walendy (Giants), tailback Keith Brown (Broncos) and fullback Durell Price (Chargers) — have gone on to the NFL.
Skipper spent seven years, prior to coming to UCLA (1991-97), coaching the running backs and return specialists at Fresno State. He spent the two previous seasons (1989-90) as a graduate assistant at Fresno. In addition, Skipper spent two summers doing NFL internships with the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins.
In 1997, FSU tailback Michael Pittman rushed for 1,057 yards and ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference and 26th nationally with his average of 96.1 yards per game. He was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by Arizona. Three times during Skipper’s seven years, FSU ranked among the nation’s Top 20 in rushing yards per game, including No. 3 in 1991 and No. 16 in 1992. During his tenure at Fresno State, he coached seven All-Conference running backs. Some of his prot?g?s who have played in the NFL include Lorenzo Neal, Aaron Craver, Anthony Diagle, Ron Rivers and Reggie Brown. Fresno State won four league titles during his stay — the Big West championship in 1989 and 1990 and the WAC championship in 1992 and 1993. He also coached in four bowl games.
Skipper was a four-year letterman at Fresno State, earning honorable mention All-America (Associated Press) and first-team All-Big West honors at running back as a senior in 1988. The Bulldogs were 36-9-1 during his playing career and he still ranks in the school’s career top 10 in rushing with 2,237 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Skipper’s father Jim, a longtime assistant coach in the NFL, is currently on the staff of the Carolina Panthers. He also served a season as head coach of the XFL franchise in San Francisco, was a member of Bob Toledo’s staff at the University of Pacific and worked with the Bruin head coach at Oregon. Younger brother Tim was a standout linebacker at Fresno State and is coaching at Western New Mexico.
RECRUITING RESPONSIBILITIES — Local / California: East Bay, Central California; National: Running backs.
PERSONAL — Education: Bachelor’s in Business, Fresno State, 1989; At UCLA: Fifth year (joined staff in February, 1998); Born: July 25, 1967 in Brawley, CA; Family: Kelly and his wife, Mary, have one son, Kaelen.