Herb Hand returns for a fourth year as the Vanderbilt offensive line
coach. He also adds the duties of run game coordinator this season.
During the 2013 season Hand was able to keep a cohesive unit on the field for the majority of the season with only seven different linemen starting games, led by senior Wesley Johnson, junior Joe Townsend and junior Spencer Pulley who started every game for the Commodores.
Johnson established a new Vanderbilt school record starting 51 straight games. The versatile and talented Johnson earned his fourth SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honor for his work in the victory against Georgia. His four weekly honors are the most in team history.
Under Hand's tutelage, redshirt freshman Andrew Jelks worked his way into the starting lineup with nine starts in his first action for the Black & Gold. Jelks started the season opener against Ole Miss and later started eight straight games at right tackle.
Second-year starters Townsend and Bernstein continued to develop into mainstays on the line. Junior Chase White proved Coach Hand's philosophy of training linemen in multiple positions starting games at left guard and right tackle.
As a unit the O-line paved the way for 34 touchdowns on the ground, the third-most in the SEC and has helped Jerron Seymour match the school record with 14 scores.
In 2012, Hand continued to use innovation to maximize the
effectiveness of his offensive line. Hand's belief in preparing linemen
for multiple positions was on full display late in the season with the
play of redshirt junior Wesley
Johnson and redshirt senior Ryan
as an honorable mention All-SEC
selection, played extremely well at
both tackles. Seymour, a starting
guard who was picked by Seattle
in the 2013 NFL Draft, performed
at a high level when moved to
Johnson's vacant left tackle role.
Several other members of
Hand's corps performed well in
what became the most potent
offensive attack in modern
Commodore history. Sophomore
Joe Townsend and redshirt
freshman Jake Bernstein were
extremely productive when
inserted during the season at
center and guard, respectively.
In 2011, Hand did a remarkable
job molding an undersized offensive line corps into a cohesive unit. The
line helped Vanderbilt add 25.8 yards to its rushing average and 41 yards
to its average total offense. The unit also allowed nine fewer sacks than
the year before.
In 2011-12, the line paved the way for Zac Stacy to establish new team
career and single-season rushing records. The St. Louis draftee finished
with 3,143 rushing yards and 30 TDs.
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, 17, and Cade, 11, and daughter, Bailey, 15.
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
2013 - Vanderbilt (OL/Run Game Coordinator)
2010-12 - 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)