Yanni Hufnagel is an assistant coach at the University of Nevada. He started as a volunteer assistant coach when he was recommended to Harvard head coach, Tommy Amaker, by Capel in 2009. Being an assistant coach in a college basketball mostly involves recruiting. Although Hufnagel sweated throughout the interview, he was confident about his high-school text messaging abilities, knew that he could chat with the coaches and spend an entire summer in the gym.
Qualities that Make Hufnagel a Good Coach
According to Capel, the assistant coach at Duke, Yanni Hufnagel has striking characteristics that make him an outstanding recruiter. He has the audacity that makes him not assume the kids who are likely to turn down the request of playing basketball. When most coaches automatically ignore such kids, Hufnagel is not afraid of hearing the no.
Hufnagel has great salesman qualities, and it would be hard for anyone to turn him down. Seth Greenberg, an analyst for ESPN, feels that it is hard not to like Yanni. This quality is crucial, and it helped him sell Harvard. Remember Harvard is a member of the Ivy League and therefore doesn’t offer athletic scholarships which make it difficult for the recruiters.
Hufnagel Future Prospective
Yanni Hufnagel is a goal oriented person. Despite recruiting an athlete to Harvard being a daunting task, he managed to win over a 6-foot-9, Zena Edosomwan, who was listed as the top 100 players in his class by Scout.com. Yanni says he has a goal of chasing high-schoolers, even those who wouldn’t have considered a four-year detour through university, to become first-round NBA draft picks.
After Harvard, Hufnagel left Harvard for Vanderbilt Commodores where he worked as an assistant coach to Kevin Stallings. ESPN credited him for managing to help the team recruit the 29th ranked class of 2014.
In 2014, he joined University of California Golden Bears coaching staff. During this time, he managed to convince Ivan Rabb and Jalen Brown to join the team. In April 2016, Hufnagel joined the University of Nevada as an assistant coach to Eric Musselman for Wolf Pack team.