A few years ago, the coaching career of Yanni Hufnagel seemed very bright. Back then, Hufnagel was making a name for himself as being an ace recruiter and assistant coach for the Harvard Crimson Tide.
He managed to recruit coach the likes of Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders a few years back before continuing on to more established programs. Now, after some legal issues that needed to be settled, Hufnagel seems to be on his way back to being considered one of the top assistants in college men’s basketball.
Born in Scarsdale, New York, and raised in the Jewish faith, Hufnagel currently is an assistant coach for the University of Nevada Wolfpack squad that is 24-6 overall and tied atop the Mountain West Conference standings at the moment. Still in his mid-30s, there is plenty of time for him to move upward in his profession and become a head coach at an NCAA Division I program much like his fellow Jewish counterpart Josh Pastner of Georgia Tech.
Hufnagel got his start in coaching with an internship with the New Jersey Nets before becoming a graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma from 2007-2009. There, he often worked with future NBA star Blake Griffin. He then spent the next four seasons at Harvard where his name began emerging as a top recruiter and potential future head coach. As such, articles about him such as this one began popping up.
He then spent a year at Vanderbilt and two more years at the University of California at Berkeley. His recruiting chops carried over as he lured the likes of Wade Baldwin IV to Vanderbilt and helped the Golden Bears land Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb.
Now, he is helping former NBA head coach Eric Musselman build the Wolfpack program back up to becoming a prominent one along the West Coast.
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