Being a coach in today’s college basketball world can be quite challenging. There is pressure to win, recruit, graduate players and maintain a clean program. Such challenges make Yanni Hufnagel’s success all the more impressive. Currently serving as the assistant coach at Nevada, Hufnagel has built quite an impressive resume and has caught the attention of many of the major players in the college basketball world.
Born and raised in Scarsdale, New York, Hufnagel has worked for years to get to his current position. He’s journey started as a commentator from his local high school team; a team he was cut from. Hufnagel would go on to attend both Pennsylvania State University and Cornell University. He would get his first crack at coaching years later in 2009 when he joined the Harvard Crimson men’s basketball program as an assistant coach and recruiter. It was here he began developing a great reputation as a recruiter working under Duke great Tommy Amaker. His ability to relate to recruits was so strong, in 2011 he was recognized as the mid-major assistant coach most likely to “make it big” by his peers.
Outside of Harvard Hufnagel had the opportunity to work at a number of schools including Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, California and Nevada. During these stops he has had the opportunity to work with a number of great players (including pros) like Jeremey Lin, Blake Griffin and Matthew Fisher-Davis. Many well known college coaches and analysts have recognized Hufnagel’s work including Seth Greenburg, and duke assistant coach Jeff Capel. Hufnagel has a knack for relating to recruits .
Hufnagel continues to make an impact as he currently works with Nevada University. His recruiting ability is almost assurance that he will eventually make his way into a head coaching position. In the challenging world of college coaching, he is certainly a person to keep an eye on.