Meet The Penn State Staff: OL Coach Herb Hand

Hometown: Westmoreland, N.Y.

Family: wife, Debbie; sons Trey and Cade; daughter Bailey

Education: Bachelor’s in history, Hamilton College; Master’s in business administration, West Virginia Wesleyan

Playing experience: played on offensive line at Hamilton College

Coaching experience: 1990: Framingham South (Mass.) High School, assistant coach; 1991-93: West Virginia Wesleyan, defensive graduate assistant; 1994-96: Glenville State College, defensive coordinator; 1997-98: Concord College, defensive coordinator/special teams; 1999-2000: Clemson, offensive graduate assistant; 2001-06: West Virginia, tight ends/recruiting coordinator; 2007-08: Tulsa, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line; 2009: Tulsa, assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line; 2010-12: Vanderbilt, offensive line; 2013: Vanderbilt, offensive line/run game coordinator; 2014: Penn State, run game coordinator/offensive line

Why did you get into coaching?: “I used to say that I got into coaching because I couldn’t play anymore and I wanted to stay involved in the game. That was when I was a young, idiot coach that was more concerned about himself than the impact you can really make on a young person’s life. Now this is my 25th year of coaching. Probably in the last 10 years as I’ve matured as a coach and you start seeing young men that become fathers and husbands and become impactful in their communities, you really realize that it’s about those guys.”

What is your primary coaching philosophy?: “No player cares how much you know about football until they know how much you care about them as a person. Once you’ve established that relationship with them and they know you truly do care about them, you can push as hard as you want to and they will respond. That’s how I approach every day.”

What do you enjoy most about being at Penn State?: “The day-to-day interaction with our players and the coaching staff is great here. The guys on staff, we’ve been together for so long now that they’re some of my best friends in the world. You get to come to work every day and have that type of daily interaction. That’s what I love about being here. I’m sure game day is going to be exciting and the other stuff is going to be great, but the day-to-day stuff of being excited to get out of bed in the morning because you love what you’re doing, that’s what I love.”

What is your best memory or story about James Franklin?: “Here’s when I first learned about him as a person. It was either spring practice or early on at training camp of our first year at Vanderbilt together, we had a young man come over from the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. We kind of adopted him as a member of the team. I remember the kid was there one day at practice and James gathered everybody up and told this kid’s story. He started choking up. James said, ‘We’re going to break it down on him.’ As he was saying that, he was fighting back tears. This young man had cancer. After that I walked up to James, and I said ‘You’re a good man.'”

– Compiled by Kristen Nelson