Herzbrun was the captain of championship teams in football and basketball at Woodrow Wilson High School, where he received the Jocks Hall of Fame Award for High School Sports. He played football for the University of Tennessee on a sports scholarship, participating in the Sugar and Gator Bowls. While in the Army, he received the Timmy Award from the Washington D.C.Touchdown Club as “Outstanding Service Player of the World,” He played pre-season with the Washington Redskins and semi-pro with the Knoxville (TN) Bears. While coaching high school football, he twice received the Interscholastic Coach of the Year Award, producing three High School All-American Linebackers. As Defensive Linebacker Coach at the University of Tennessee, five of his players were named All-American Linebackers. Later, as the Defensive Coordinator for Maryville College, he coached a small college All-American Linebacker.