Yanni Hufnagel is a high-energy NCAA assistant basketball coach with remarkable recruiting skills. Coach Hufnagel’s successful career at a reasonably young age is testament to his unshakable work ethic and strong character. His brilliant understanding of the game, and his uncanny ability to connect with players, guarantee Coach Hufnagel a long and prosperous career in the sport he has devoted his life to.
Yanni Hufnagel grew up in Scarsdale, New York, in the 1980s and 90s. When most kids his age were reading comic books and playing with GI Joe action figures, Yanni was reading coaching books and running plays with miniature basketball figurines. His devotion to basketball was so strong that when he was cut from his high school team, he still found a way to stay involved with the team as a sports broadcaster for his local public television station.
While studying at Cornell University, Yanni served as a manager for the Cornell Big Red basketball team before receiving a summer internship with the New Jersey Nets. After graduating from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations, he was given the opportunity to study at University of Oklahoma and serve as a graduate assistant coach for Coach Jeff Capel. At Oklahoma, Yanni earned his master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education.
Yanni left Oklahoma for Harvard in 2009 where he went to work for Coach Tommy Amaker. In his four years at Harvard, he was nationally recognized for his recruiting skills by CBS Sports. He left Harvard for Vanderbilt in 2013 and helped the Commodores with the distinguished 2014 recruiting class.
After Vanderbilt, Yanni went to University of California, Berkley and helped recruit a top 5 class that includes Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb. He also helped Cal to its highest NCAA Tournament seed with a 23-11 record. Following Cal, Yanni joined the University of Nevada Wolf Pack, where after only one year he has made his presence felt.