Hufnagel’s Rise To Coaching Prominence
Yanni Hufnagel has parlayed a positive, can-do spirit and a love of teaching and sport into a career as one of the most coveted assistant coaches in all of National Collegiate Basketball Association (NCAA) Division I Basketball.
Hufnagel’s passion for basketball started at Scarsdale (NY) High School where he began as a player and later served as commentator at his alma mater’s television station where he provided viewers coverage and insight on basketball and other sports.
After graduating from Cornell University and interning with the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, Hufnagel began his coaching career as a Graduate Assistant for the University of Oklahoma in 2007. It did not take Hufnagel long to garner the attention of coaches and players alike who were drawn to his enthusiasm for the game and impressed with his tireless work ethic both on the court instructing and mentoring players and off of it where he first earned a reputation as a top recruiter.
Following his time at Oklahoma, Hufnagel served as Assistant Coach at Harvard University from 2009-2013 and helped shape the professional career of current Brooklyn Nets and NBA All-Star Jeremy Lin; Vanderbilt University from 2013-2016 and California from 2014-2016, where he recruited two standouts who went on to become top NBA draft picks and helped lead the Golden Bears to an NCAA Tournament birth. Currently, Hufnagel serves as an Assistant Coach at the University of Nevada.
Hufnagel’s abilities as a recruiter has garnered him several notable awards. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 NCAA College Basketball Season, CBS Sports designated Hufnagel as a member of the Dream Team of Assistant Coaches. In addition, the NCAA Basketball assistant coaching fraternity, in a 2011 CBS Sports Survey, named Hufnagel the mid-major conferences assistant coach most likely to one day succeed as a head coach.