After three years with the Texas Longhorns, co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Herb Hand will not remain on new head coach Steve Sarkisian’s staff, as the veteran assistant tweeted out his goodbye to his players and the Forty Acres.
From the Hand family to the men who we have been honored to work with in Austin...Thank y’all.— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 4, 2021
We love you and are so appreciative for all you gave to our UNIT, the team and The University of Texas.
You ALL have greatness in your future...proud to count you among “my guys”. pic.twitter.com/Rqo8CR4lyN
A 28-year coaching veteran known for his outsized personality, cooking ability, and food recommendations, Hand came to Texas in early 2018 when the NCAA expanded the on-field coaching staff to 10 assistants. After a disappointing performance by an offensive line riddled with injuries, former head coach Tom Herman moved Derek Warehime to tight ends coach and hired Hand with a co-offensive coordinator title.
In three seasons before arriving in Austin, Hand was named a finalist for the Football Scoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year, including 2016 and 2017 at Auburn. Here are his accomplishments at Texas:
In 2019, both center Zach Shackelford and left tackle Samuel Cosmi earned All-Big 12 honors. After Hand’s unit paved the way for Texas to rush for 231 yards against No. 11 Utah in the Valero Alamo Bowl, the Longhorns’ offensive line received All-Bowl recognition from Sports Illustrated. Cosmi was recognized individually by the Associated Press and ESPN as an All-Bowl performer as his Alamo Bowl showing.
In 2018, all five starting offensive lineman garnered All-Big 12 honors, led by center Zach Shackelford’s first-team recognition (AP) and second-team honors (coaches). Calvin Anderson, Elijah Rodriguez and Patrick Vahe were honorable mention, while right tackle Samuel Cosmi received votes as the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and was a freshman All-American.
Hand was also instrumental in the development of Cosmi into a potential first-round draft pick at a position where the Longhorns have not had a player selected that highly since 2003.
In his final two games at Texas, Hand did perhaps his best coaching job, integrating freshman center Jake Majors and freshman left tackle Andrej Karic into the lineup as the Horns played some of their best offense of the season against overmatched opponents. Against Kansas State and Colorado, Texas scored 124 points and rushed for 637 yards and nine touchdowns on 8.7 yards per carry.
However, Hand’s recruiting suffered in his final cycle, as he missed on the Brockermeyer twins, Longhorns legacies whose older brother plays at Texas, and all the other top-ranked offensive line recruits in the state. It was nothing short of a disaster.
Those recruiting struggles, along with the quickly-rumored hire of Sarkisian’s Alabama colleague Kyle Flood as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, made Hand one of the least likely coaches to remain on Sarkisian’s first staff in Austin.