Yanni Hufnagel is a former college basketball coach, who most recently worked under Coach Erik Musselman with the University of Nevada Wolfpack. Before coaching with the Wolfpack in Reno, Hufnagel also had assistant coaching stops with the California Golden Bears, the Vanderbilt Commodores, and the Harvard Crimson.
Hufnagel’s basketball playing career ended during his junior year at Scarsdale High School in New Jersey when he was cut from the varsity basketball team. He continued playing lacrosse, but also started working as a color commentator for the basketball team that had just cut him on local access cable television.
Yanni began his college career at Penn State University where he played lacrosse for one season before transferring to Cornell to pursue a degree in Industrial and Labor relations. After a summer internship with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, Hufnagel returned to college at the University of Oklahoma where he worked as a graduate assistant with the men’s basketball team and is credited as playing a vital role in the development of eventual six time NBA All Star, Blake Griffin.
Hufnagel received a Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma with an Emphasis on Intercollegiate Athletics Administration in 2010, but had already embarked on a coaching career that saw him serving as an assistant coach for the Harvard Crimson. By 2011, Hufnagel’s incredible recruiting ability was already being noticed and he was named by his peers as the “mid-major assistant coach most likely to make it big” due to that recruiting prowess in a CBS Sports survey. CBS Sports also named him to their “Assistant Coaching Dream Team” before the 2012-2013 season. That recruiting ability helped Harvard land future NBA All Star point guard Jeremy Lin, and it is Hufnagel’s coaching that is often cited when helping Lin’s development.
went on to serve as an assistant for one season at Vanderbilt, helping them secure the 29th ranked recruiting class in 2014. After
that season, he joined coach Cuonzo Martin at the University of California,
recruiting future stars Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, as well as helping guide
the Golden Bears to an NCAA Tournament berth. After a season there, Hufnagel
spent one season with the University of Nevada where he again helped his team
reach the NCAA Tournament.