Yanni Hufnagel had an impressive career as a basketball coach and as a recruiter. He coached teams at several different levels, and the coaches and players that he was associated with stated that Mr. Hufnagel’s ability to motivate and encourage players was unequaled.
Yanni Hufnagel began his coaching career at the University of Oklahoma. He served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma for two seasons. During his time at Oklahoma, Mr. Hufnagel had the opportunity to work with players who would go on to professional basketball careers. He was able to gain the needed experience to take on more coaching and recruiting duties.
The first really big break for Yanni Hufnagel was when he was asked to be the assistant coach for the Harvard University basketball team. Mr, Hufnagel coached at Harvard for four seasons. During that time, he was able to learn how to build relationships with players. Mr. Hufnagel was a relentless recruiter. If he saw a player that he felt was right for Harvard, he would go all out to get that player to sign for the school.
During his time as an assistant at Harvard, Yanni Hufnagel gained the respect of other coaches in the college ranks. He was voted as a coach who was likely to move on to a bigger school and to be a head coach one day.
While at Harvard, Yanni Hufnagel was instrumental in helping the team to amass one of the best winning streaks in the school’s history. In 2013, Harvard went to the NCAA Division I Tournament. Unexpectedly, the team advanced past the first round which was unusual for an Ivy League team.
Following his Harvard coaching years, Mr. Hufnagel moved on to the assistant’s job at Vanderbilt. After only one season, he left that school for a similar position at the University of California.
While at Cal, Hufnagel helped to recruit top talent. In his final year with the team, the Golden Bears went to the NCAA Tournament.
Yanni Hufnagel’s last assistant coaching position was with the University of Nevada, Reno. He stayed with the team for one season, helping that team reach the NCAA Tournament as well.