As one of the last coaches to be hired in the latest college football coaching cycle, Gus Malzahn has had to work quickly to assemble his staff at UCF. But he has managed to get one of his longtime friends to join him.
According to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports, UCF is hiring Herb Hand as their new offensive line coach. Hand spent the last three years as the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Texas. But when Tom Herman was fired last month, he was not retained by new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Hand landed on his feet quickly as he was hired in the same role at Charlotte just under a month ago. But it looks like he’ll be leaving without a chance to even coach a down.
Malzahn and Hand have a longstanding relationship that goes back over a decade. The two first worked together at Tulsa from 2007 to 2008. Malzahn brought Hand on board at Auburn from 2016 to 2017, after which Hand left for Texas.
UCF Is hiring Herb Hand as offensive line coach, a source tells @247Sports. He previously coached at Texas, Auburn and Penn State, and is a longtime friend of UCF coach Gus Malzahn. https://t.co/RpFbWXr8z6
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 18, 2021
Gus Malzahn has made it very clear that he wants to elevate UCF into to a College Football Playoff contender. To that end he’s bringing a bunch of his former Auburn assistants with him to the AAC giant.
But it’s going to take a lot more than winning the AAC consistently to reach that goal. One loss anytime in the season won’t work. The only path he has to the CFP (barring expansion) is going undefeated and hoping the Power Five teams cannibalize each other.
He seems to be doing everything right to ensure that UCF reaches that double-digit win total though. Danny White and Josh Heupel left Malzahn a lot to work with.
Will Gus Malzahn win the AAC crown in his first year at the helm?