Today’s college basketball coach has a number of responsibilities. Demands include not only keeping a winning program, but recruiting, graduating players and maintaining a clean program. Every year there are coaches who lose their job because the simply can meet these demands. Yanni Hufnagel has proven that he has what it takes to excel in this challenging field. With a reputation as an excellent recruiter and player developer, Hufnagel appears primed for a head coaching position.
Hufnagel is a New York native. He has had a passion for basketball since he was very young. He quickly realized he would not make a career out of playing the sport and turned his efforts to coaching. His first real opportunity came as a graduate assistant with the Oklahoma Sooners. At Oklahoma Hufnagel had the opportnunity to work with and help develop current NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. It was at this time he began to develop a reputation for his ability to develop players.
Yanni Hufnagel continued to demonstrate his abilities at his next stop, Harvard University. Working with head coach Tommy Amaker, Hufnagel help to bring and develop some really good players. This list includes Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders both who have played professionally. Yanni’s work was so good he received praise from some notable figures in the college basketball world including Seth Greenberg of ESPN and Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel. Harvard even made multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament during this time.
After Harvard Hufnagel would have a number of other stops including California University, Vanderbilt and his current stop Nevada. He has worked with some well known coaches including Kevin Stallings and Cuonzo Martin. It is with Martin that Hufnagel helped to put together one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. It was a class that included future pros Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb.
Yanni Hufnagel has shown he has what it takes to make it in the college basketball world. It appears to be only a matter of time before he is a head coach somewhere.