Yanni Hufnagel has had a remarkable career in basketball coaching. Although it wasn’t easy at first, he followed his passion for the sport and overcame all obstacles to become one of the most well-respected coaches in basketball history.
Early on as a kid he was well known to be a good student of the game. Reading books on coaching and designing his own plays allowed him to visualize the game differently than most viewers. His first opportunity came as a play by play announcer for a local tv station.
During his years in Cornell University, he served as one of the team’s basketball student-managers and shortly after a big break came while he was offered an internship for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. He absolutely cherished this opportunity to work for first hand with professionals. After graduation in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations, Yanni was offered his first job as coach for the University of Oklahoma. In 2010 Yanni earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Oklahoma.
But it wasn’t until after he became a volunteer assistant coach for Harvard in 2009 that he began to gain a good reputation for his recruitment efforts and was known as an excellent salesman by his peers. His efforts up to this point were shown in the improvements that the team had made while he was assisting with coaching duties.
During the 2015 and 2016 season, Yanni Hufnagel contributed to the University of California earning a number 4 seed in the national tournament, the highest ever in the program’s history. All the studying and schooling combined with the passion for the sport allowed him to coach kids to a victorious success not just in basketball but also in life.
His experience at Cornell, Oklahoma, Harvard, California, Vanderbilt, and the New Jersey Nets contributed to his overall success in recruiting and training for the next generation.