Herb Hand named to football staff

Aug. 6, 2010

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Former Tulsa offensive coach Herb Hand has become Head Coach Robbie Caldwell's first hire at Vanderbilt, agreeing to take Caldwell's former role as offensive line mentor.

The staff addition of Hand, a native of New York who has extensive coaching experience in spread offenses at both Tulsa and West Virginia, was announced Friday on campus, hours before Vanderbilt's first preseason practice.

In conjunction with announcing Hand, Caldwell also promoted long-time Vanderbilt assistant Bruce Fowler to assistant head coach of the program. Fowler, who formerly served as assistant head coach/defense, will continue to mentor Commodore linebackers.

Prior to accepting the only vacancy on Caldwell's staff, Hand worked three years at Tulsa, serving as an assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. During a three-year stint with the Hurricane, Hand helped guide Tulsa to consecutive GMAC Bowl appearances behind one of the NCAA's most explosive spread offenses.

Caldwell, named Vanderbilt's interim head coach on July 14 following the retirement of Bobby Johnson, was excited to attract a coach of Hand's reputation to the Commodore program just days before the team gets underway with the upcoming season.

"Coach Hand is a tremendous addition to our coaching staff. He's an excellent coach and a great family man," Caldwell said. "Herb also fits perfectly into what we do offensively at Vanderbilt. He has tremendous knowledge and understanding of the offense we introduced last year. Herb will walk into the first practice and be right at home."

The 41-year-old Hand, who served six years at West Virginia prior to joining Tulsa, is looking forward to working with the Commodore offensive line, and coaching in arguably the finest conference in America.

"I'm just very appreciative to Coach Caldwell and his staff for getting me this opportunity. I'll give the Vanderbilt coaches and players everything I have as their offensive line coach," Hand said. "I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to getting to know the players and work with each of them as we prepare for the season."

As Tulsa's co-offensive coordinator, Hand coached an Hurricane offensive line that paved the way for the nation's No. 1-ranked offense in 2007 and 2008. The Hurricane averaged 570 yards of total offense in 2008, and 544 yards per game in 2007. They also topped the nation with a 47-point scoring average in 2008. Tulsa's 2008 offense ranked first among Conference USA schools for rushing, scoring and total offense.

Before joining Tulsa, Hand spent an extremely successful six-year tenure at West Virginia, serving as the Mountaineers' tight ends coach. He helped West Virginia to three Big East Conference championships and five straight postseason bowl games during the span, including 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. He helped lead an offense that ranked second nationally in rushing, third in scoring, and fourth in total offense. A year earlier, WVU posted an 11-1 record and was ranked fifth nationally, after winning the Sugar Bowl 38-35 against Georgia of the SEC.

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 was defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator at Concord College for two seasons (1997-98). From 1994-96, Hand served as defensive coordinator at Glenville State, where he helped coach the squad to three WVIAC Championships. Previously, Hand was a graduate assistant coach for three seasons (1991-93) at West Virginia Wesleyan where he coached the linebackers.

A 1990 Hamilton College graduate, Hand received his bachelor's degree in history, and a master's degree in 1993 from West Virginia Wesleyan in business administration.

Hand and his wife, Debbie, have three children: sons, Trey and Cade, and daughter Bailey.



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