Yanni Hufnagel was born a Jewish boy in Scarsdale, New York on August 26, 1982. He grew up playing with his action figures, but war wasn’t his game. It was basketball. Yanni was acting out plays that he learned from the countless books he had read. As a child, he read as many books about coaching basketball as he possibly could.
Yanni Hufnagel carried his passion for coaching basketball everywhere he went in life. While attending Scarsdale High he became an anchor for his local TV station. There, Hufnagel provided commentary for his High School’s basketball games.
While attending Cornell University, Yanni Hufnagel became Basketball Manager for the “Big Reds.” His drive would also earn him a summer internship with the New Jersey Nets. After receiving a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations in 2006, a Nets colleague of Yanni’s referred him to University of Oklahoma’s head coach, Jeff Capel. Capel made Yanni a Graduate Assistant Coach.
Capel went on to recommend Yanni Hufnagel to Harvard’s head coach in 2009. Despite having an unpaid intern’s salary, Yanni started to recruit high school kids immediately after being hired.
Yanni Hufnagel eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Adult Higher Education, with an emphasis on Intercollegiate Athletic Administration, from Oklahoma. He has also been an Assistant Coach for Vanderbilt, the University of California at Berkeley, and most recently for the University of Nevada at Reno.
At the University of Nevada in Reno, Yanni helped head coach Eric Musselman lead the men’s “Wolf Pack” basketball team into the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Yanni and the University of Nevada mutually split ways after the 2017 season. With his experience and passion for coaching, Yanni will surely continue to leave an impact anywhere he coaches.