Yanni Hufnagel possesses a resume filled with diverse accomplishments and a myriad of experiences. In the world of coaching college basketball, however, his path was less than conventional.
Yanni Hufnagel was cut from his high school varsity basketball team-definitely not the story of most college coaches. This disappointment lead to Yanni’s first of many roles in the business of basketball as he took on the task of color-commentating games for a local cable TV station. During this time he immersed himself in the game by reading coaching books and simulating plays with basketball figurines.
Cornell University was the next stop for Yanni Hufnagel. A position as a basketball student manger was parlayed into an internship with the New Jersey Nets, where Hufnagel worked under Jeff Capel. When Capel got the head coaching job at Oklahoma University, Hufnagel applied for a graduate assistantship. In 2007, Hufnagel moved to Norman.
Harvard was the next stop for Yanni Hufnagel, where he honed his skills as a recruiter and coach for Tommy Amaker. On the court, Harvard put up four 20-win seasons and three Ivy League titles. The Crimson also benefited from his talents in player development with his assistance with future NBA star, Jeremy Linn. Hufnagel was rewarded by ending up on a CBS Sports list of nine “dream team” assistants.
After four seasons at Harvard, Hufnagel ascended into the major conference ranks. One season at Vanderbilt and two at UC-Berkeley solidified Yanni Hufnagel’s reputation as a top recruiter. The Commodores posted a 29th ranked recruiting class in 2014. The Golden Bears class of 2015 (ranked 4th by Rivals and 5th by ESPN) included two McDonalds All-Americans.
At the end of the 2016-17 season, Hufnagel accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Nevada-Reno, where he will no doubt play a key role in recruiting for second-year coach, Eric Musselman.