Category Archives: Basketball Manager

Yanni Hufnagel: The College Basketball Recruiter ‘Extraordinaire’

Born of Jewish parents, Yanni Hufnagel grew up in Scarsdale, New York where he actively played lacrosse and basketball in High School, until he was cut from the varsity basketball team his junior year. Fortunately for basketball, his relationship with the sport would not stop there, as he went on to take a position commentating games for very the team he was cut from, reaching local access and cable tv audiences, and permitting Yanni Hufnagel the opportunity to perform, if not visually for audiences, at least audibly. It was while commentating for these high school games that Yanni’s charisma and knowledge of the game would plant the seed necessary for growing his way towards a career in a game that he was once told he wasn’t good enough to compete in.

Yanni Hufnagel’s career in basketball started to take root in 2009 when he become the assistant coach for Harvard University’s Mens basketball team, the Harvard Crimson. He proved his chops as assistant coach by aggressively recruiting top talent to the school, helping to pave the way for unparalleled success in the schools modern program. During his four year reign as assistant coach, the Harvard Crimson boasted an impressive 90-30 winning record, and a spectacular showing in the 2013 NCAA tournament, when Harvard bested number three ranked New Mexico in a shocking upset.

After Harvard, Yanni Hufnagel went on to staff coaching positions with Vanderbilt, University of California, Berkley, and University of Nevada, Reno, and experienced various levels of success. During his time with the California Golden Bears, he was able to help lift the team to a 2016 NCAA playoff slot, but his success at the school was overshadowed due to allegations of sexual harassment by a female news reporter, which ultimately resulted in his termination from the University, despite his appeals for justice. Yanni would go on to become responsible for one more NCAA berth, in 2017, while on the coaching staff for University of Nevada, Reno, but it would be his last tournament appearance as a college assistant basketball coach, as the details from the sexual harassment case would ultimately prove too damaging for the perpetuation of his college coaching career, despite all his years of success.



It’s A (Basketball) Game To Yanni Hufnagel

Everyone has a dream. Some have the inherent talent to make that dream a reality. This is the case for Yanni Hufnagel.

Hufnagel was born in Scarsdale, New York. From an early age, basketball, and the coaching thereof, fascinated him. He studied the books he read and worked out the various plays he learned.

Yanni cut his teeth in sports as an announcer for public television. After attending one year at the University of Pennsylvania, Hufnagel transferred to Cornell University. There, he took the position of basketball manager. He took the opportunity to do a summer internship with the New Jersey Nets.

From that point on, Yanni Hufnagel’s star began to rise higher and higher. He interviewed with Jeff Capel from University of Oklahoma and was hired for the position of graduate assistant coach. He moved on to Harvard as a volunteer assistant coach, as an unpaid intern. His acumen for recruiting was seen during this time and continued as he subsequently coached for Vanderbilt, University of California Berkeley and University of Nevada, Reno.

During his time with these colleges, Hufnagel brought many players on board such as Jeremy Lin and Wade Baldwin IV. At Berkeley, he helped land Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown for the 2015 season. He was seen by his peers as both a great assistant basketball coach and recruiter for the game.

Yanni Hufnagel obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell and earned a Masters from University of Oklahoma in Adult Higher Education, emphasizing Intercollegiate Athletic Administration.