By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn's Gus Malzahn hired Herb Hand as his offensive line coach Monday in a move that reunites the two friends who worked together on the No. 1-ranked offense in the country.
Malzahn and Hand once shared the title as co-offensive coordinator at Tulsa, and they molded an offense there that was tops the nation two straight seasons. Now, Malzahn and Hand are together again after Hand agreed to leave Penn State after two years of serving as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator.
Hand is replacing J.B. Grimes, who left to become offensive line coach at Cincinnati.
“My family and I are extremely excited to join the Auburn football family and be a part of a program with such great tradition and history," Hand said in a statement. "We’re especially excited to rejoin Coach Malzahn and work with him again. It was an opportunity that was way too good for us to pass up. I want to thank Coach James Franklin and the Penn State football program for two great years and I wish them nothing but the best moving forward."
Malzahn and Hand worked together at Tulsa in 2007 and 2008. Malzahn called the plays. Hand coached the offensive line.
"I'm excited to be teaming up with Coach Hand again after working together for two years at Tulsa where we were very successful offensively," Malzahn said. "He's a wonderful person and coach, and we’re glad to welcome him to Auburn."
Malzahn has hired four coaches since the end of the season, and all of them with SEC coaching experience. Hand was offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Vanderbilt in 2010-12. Malzahn has also hired SEC veterans Kevin Steele, as his defensive coordinator; Wesley McGriff, as his secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator; and Travis Williams, a former Auburn player, graduate assistant and defensive analyst.
Malzahn wished Grimes well.
"I want to thank J.B. Grimes for his hard work and dedication the last three years at Auburn. He is a true professional and a big-time coach. We wish him and his family nothing but the best with his new job."
Herb Hand's coaching experience
2014-15 - Penn State (run game coordinator/offensive line
2013 - Vanderbilt (offensive line/run game coordinator)
2010-12 - Vanderbilt (offensive line)
2009 - Tulsa (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line)
2007-08 - Tulsa (co-offensive coordinator/offensive line)
2001-06 - West Virginia (tight ends/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)
Herb Hand's first Auburn tweet...
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 11, 2016
Here are the stories on Auburn's other coaching hires:
Kevin Steele, defensive coordinator
Travis Williams, linebacker coach
Wesley McGriff, secondary coach, co-defensive coordinator
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine