According to the online article written in 2013 from tabletmag.com by Ben Z. Cohen, Yanni Hufnagel was one of the hottest coaches in the country that year. And the nice “Jewish boy” who was cut from his varsity high school basketball team, may finally find success where his passion lies, basketball. But as you will see it didn’t come without sacrifices.
In college he played at Penn State for a year on the lacrosse team before quitting and transferring. In his first year at Cornell he was a basketball manager and then snagged a summer and fall internship with the New Jersey Nets. It offered him the experience he wanted and needed, but as with most internships, no pay. After graduation, his Nets colleague Ryan Krueger, connected him to Oklahoma basketball Coach Jeff Capel who was looking for a graduate assistant.
Then in 2009 Coach Capel recommended Hufnagel to Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker. As a volunteer assistant coach, his salary was the same as his unpaid internship. Passion moved him forward. In the last four seasons on the bench as the assistant basketball coach for the Harvard Crimson’s, Hufnagel and Harvard, has found success on the courts. Moreover, the Crimson team won the Ivy League for the first time ever. As to Hufnagel’s success, he was able to recruit Jeremy Lin, considered by many as basketball phenomena.
And currently, Yanni Hufnagel will be able to call the shots as to what job, be it a head coach or an assistant coach, he wants to take because all of his hard work has finally paid off.
Hufnagal’s coaching career includes the following:
- Assistant Coach at Harvard-2009
- Assistant Coach at Vanderbilt-2013
- Basketball Recruiter at University of California, Berkeley-2014
- Assistant Coach University of Nevada – 2016