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Auburn announces Penn State's Herb Hand as offensive line coach

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Offensive line coach Herb Hand joins Auburn's staff after two years with Penn State. (Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)
Offensive line coach Herb Hand joins Auburn's staff after two years with Penn State. (Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

Auburn’s coaching vacancy for its offensive line didn’t last 24 hours.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken was the first to report the Tigers had locked in on Penn State’s Herb Hand as their new offensive line coach.

The job opened up earlier in the day when J.B. Grimes was hired by Cincinnati. That hiring was confirmed by a source close to Cincinnati’s football program.

Grimes’ son Nick has been a graduate assistant with the team since 2014.

Auburn officially confirmed both moves Monday night with a press release announced Hand's hiring.

“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.”

The Bearcats are hoping to announce Grimes before the end of the week when ex-Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville returns to campus from the 2016 AFCA National Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

Grimes was an assistant for Malzahn going back to the season they spent together at Arkansas State in 2012.

“I want to thank J.B. Grimes for his hard work and dedication the last three years at Auburn," Malzahn said. "He is a true professional and a big-time coach. We wish him and his family nothing but the best with his new job.”

In turning to Hand as Grimes’ replacement, Malzahn is going with an assistant he’s equally familiar with.

Hand and Malzahn worked together in Tulsa from 2007-08 and have maintained a friendship through the years.

“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. "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."

Hand spent the previous two seasons with James Franklin at Penn State. Hand was also apart of Franklin's staff from 2010-13 when he was the head coach at Vanderbilt. Hand's resume also includes stints in Division 1 at West Virginia and Clemson.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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