Yanni Hufnagel: College Basketball Coach Extraordinaire

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” —Thomas Paine


When Yanni Hufnagel was cut by his hometown varsity basketball team in Scarsdale, NY he had a choice to make. He could have given on his dreams of pursuing a career in basketball, but he didn’t. Instead, he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and immediately took a color commentating position for the team on a local public access channel.


Hufnagel’s success continued when he went to college, where he briefly was on the Lacrosse team for Penn State. Yanni Hufnagel also completed an internship for the New Jersey Nets before becoming a graduate assistant for the University of Oklahoma. Hufnagel earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma in Adult and Higher Education with an Emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration.


Yanni Hufnagel then moved on to the Harvard Crimson in 2009. During his tenure there he was voted as the most likely to “make it big time due to his recruiting ability.” Yanni Hufnagel has also held positions at Vanderbilt, University of Californa – Berkeley, and just started a new position at the University of Nevada.


Hufnagel brings a wealth of experience to the Nevada Wolfpack. Even in his younger days he was noted for replicating the basketball plays using various figurines. However, that is not the most impressive thing about Yanni Hufnagel.


Simply put, the man is a recruiting genius. Everywhere he has went, he has shown himself to be a solid asset to the recruiting program in question. At Harvard, Hufnagel was responsible for developing Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders. At California Berkeley, Hufnagel was credited with convincing Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb join the team. These two individuals were instrumental in helping lead the Golden Bears to a playoff berth in 2016.


How will Hufnagel perform with the Wolfpack? If the past is any indication he will help the team shine. We can likely expect there to be some immediate success from this Nevada squad because of Hufnagel’s careful guidance.