Herb Hand returns for a third year to the Commodore coaching staff as offensive line coach.
In 2011, Hand did a remarkable job molding an undersized offensive line corps. He innovatively dealt with the lack of roster spots along the offensive line, switching three returning starters to new positions during the summer. The moves - senior Kyle Fischer from guard to tackle, junior Ryan Seymour from tackle to guard, and sophomore Wesley Johnson from tackle to center - gave Hand the versatility needed to get the most out of his unit.
The improved line helped Vanderbilt add 25.8 yards to its 2010 rushing average and 41 yards more in total offense. The unit also did a better job of protecting the quarterback, allowing nine fewer sacks.
Hand's offensive line also paved the way for junior Zac Stacy to establish new team records with 1,193 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.
The three players that switched positions with Hand's encouragement also were rewarded for making a decision for the good of the team. All three enjoyed the distinction of earning SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors during the year.
In 2010, Johnson earned Freshman All-SEC honors and Freshman All-America recognition from Phil Steele's.
Prior to accepting the Vanderbilt offensive position, Hand worked three years at Tulsa, serving as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and line coach. Hand helped guide Tulsa to consecutive GMAC Bowl appearances behind one of the NCAA's most explosive spread offenses.
As Tulsa's co-offensive coordinator, Hand coached an offensive line that paved the way for the nation's top ranked offense in 2007 and 2008. He was also a finalist for national offensive line coach of the year in 2008.
Before joining Tulsa, Hand spent six successful years at West Virginia, serving as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Hand helped the Mountaineers to three Big East Conference titles and five straight postseason bowl games during the span, including a 36-35 victory over Southeastern Conference champion Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl.
In 2006, West Virginia finished with an 11-2 record and was among the
nation's top-10 teams for most of the season. Hand helped guide an offense that ranked second nationally in rushing, third in scoring, and fourth in total offense.
Prior to moving to West Virginia, Hand served as an offensive graduate assistant at Clemson in 1999-2000, as the Tigers participated in the 1999 Peach Bowl and 2000 Gator Bowl.
Before that, he served as defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator at Concord College in West Virginia. He also was defensive coordinator at another university in the state, Glenville State, where he helped coach the squad to three WVIAC Championships.
A 1990 Hamilton College graduate, Hand received his bachelor's in history. He also earned a master's in 1993 from West Virginia Wesleyan in business administration.
Hand and his wife, Debbie, have three children: sons, Trey, 16, and Cade, 10, and daughter, Bailey, 14.
The Hand File Personal
Hometown: Westmoreland, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor's, History, Hamilton College, 1990 Master's, Business Administration, W. Va. Wesleyan, 1993
Family: wife, Debbie, sons, Trey and Cade, daughter, Bailey
Hand's Coaching Experience
2010-current - Vanderbilt (OL)
2009 - Tulsa (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/OL)
2007-08 - Tulsa (co-offensive coordinator/OL)
2001-06 - West Virginia (TEs/recruiting coordinator)
1999-2000 - Clemson (offensive graduate assistant)
1997-98 - Concord College (defensive coordinator/special teams)
1994-96 - Glenville State College (defensive coordinator)
1991-93 - West Virginia Wesleyan (defensive graduate assistant)