Yanni Hufnagel assisted under head coach Tommy Amaker at Harvard University from 2009 – 2013. He also produced ‘Hustle’, a scripted project for Sony Crackle, based on true accounts of an assistant college basketball coach, who uses whatever methods at his disposal to recruit the nations best talent to his school. In 2014 Hufnagel took his talents to Vanderbilt University, where he recruited one of the most prolific and talented classes in Vanderbilt history, including Wade Baldwin IV, Matthew Fisher-Davis, Riley LaChance, Jeff Roberson, and Sheldon Mitchell. Baldwin becoming a first-round NBA Draft pick.
After Vanderbilt for one season Coach Hufnagel moved onto the U.C. Berkeley, as an assistant coach, where his reputation as a top-notch recruiter had already preceded him. His work with players on and off the court also started to make him more noticeable in coaching circles. In 2015, he was linked to the Penn head coaching search but ultimately was overlooked because of his lack of division 1 head coaching experience.
From a young age Coach Hufnagel had a love and affinity for the game of basketball. Even though early on, his game of choice was lacrosse, he was never too far from a basketball court. Though on the court he didn’t fare so well, being cut from his varsity basketball team as a junior in high school, his real talent was motivating young players. Getting a well-read education in basketball as a youngster, his first coaching experience came at 16 years old, as he coached 15-year-olds in the game of basketball at summer camp.
Passionate, energetic, and relentless are just a few of the words used to describe Hufnagel, by his peers and players. Whether coaching from the sidelines or recruiting on the road, he manages to inject those around him with his unique style and nearly overzealous presence.