College basketball is one of the most popular and competitive sports in the United States. Assistant coaches on the top teams in college basketball will often be given plenty of opportunities to climb the ranks and eventually become head coaches overseeing their own programs. While the head coaching jobs are normally reserved for assistants at big programs, a current assistant at Harvard University looks like he could break the tradition.
Yanni Hufnagel is an assistant coach currently working for the Nevada Wolfpack. While he is still barely 30 years old, Yanni Hufnagel has gained the reputation as being a top assistant coach. Hufnagel, who has not had any basketball playing experience since he was in elementary school, has had a number of different positions since graduating from Cornell University.
Hufnagel’s first role following his graduation was as a graduate assistant working for the University of Oklahoma basketball team. After a one year stint there, he moved on to Harvard University where he was an assistant for four years. Hufnagel was then given an opportunity to work for a couple larger programs at the University of California and Vanderbilt. For the past few years, Hufnagel has been working for the Nevada Wolfpack college basketball program.
While Hufnagel does not have much playing experience, he does have a reputation for being a good coach and being one of the best recruiters in the country. He has been credited for attracting top-100 recruits to Harvard, which is particularly challenging given the school’s inability to give athletic scholarships.
Hufnagel was born in raised in New York. After graduating from high school, he moved on to Penn State University, but then transferred to Cornell. Hufnagel got his introduction to basketball coaching when he landed an internship working for the New Jersey Nets while he was still in school.