From Picking Up Laundry to Picking Out Players: Yanni Hufnagel’s path to College Coaching:
Yanni Hufnagel did not make his high school basketball team in Scarsdale, New York. But he was still a part of it, doing color commentary on games for the local cable access channel. At Penn State, he played for the lacrosse team . . . for one season before transferring to Cornell. He was part of that school’s basketball team, as a manager. Yanni Hufnagel then scored a big internship with the then-New Jersey Nets, where one of his primary responsibilities was picking up the team’s laundry. But his work ethic and knowledge of the game put him on the radar of people with connections to NCAA-1 college coaches, and he landed a job as a grad assistant at Oklahoma, where he helped improve current Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin’s game.
As the years passed, Yanni Hufnagel’s reputation grew as one of the premier recruiters in the country. Thanks to his efforts at Harvard, the Crimson won the Ivy League regular season title in 2011 and 2012 and appeared in the National Tournament in 2012. Many of his peers say Hufnagel is successful bringing in great talent because of his constant high energy and his great sales pitches for whatever team he is working for.
Yanni Hufnagel earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell in Industrial and Labor Relations before obtaining a master’s degree from Oklahoma University in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration. After leaving Harvard in 2013, Hufnagel served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt and California. He is currently an assistant coach for Nevada, who won the 2017 Mountain West Conference Championship and played in the NCAA National Tournament.