Recruiting Champ Yanni Hufnagel, The Astounding Assistant Coach

Yanni Hufnagel, a wildly successful assistant coach and recruiter for college basketball, has always had a love for sports. Raised in Scarsdale, New York, Yanni attended Scarsdale High where he played lacrosse and varsity basketball. He has kicked off the basketball team but managed to stay involved by broadcasting the games. His love for basketball never diminished, and over the next decade, he made quite a name for himself in the college basketball world.


Yanni got his start assistant coaching at the University of Oklahoma. It was here, during his two-year stint as assistant coach for the Oklahoma Sooners basketball team, that Yanni discovered his skill for recruiting talented players. After the Sooners, Hufnagel moved to assistant coach for Harvard Crimson Men’s Basketball in 2009. After four years of providing wonderful assistance to Harvard, and helping during the upset of New Mexico during the 2014 Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, he moved on to spend one year at Vanderbilt, then two years at UC Berkeley, before ending his assistant coaching career after one year at the University of Nevada, Reno. Throughout this time, Yanni Hufnagel built quite the name for himself.


Yanni was quite the topic of conversation among his peers at CBS Sports. Not only did they put him on their Dream Team of assistant coaches, but they also voted him in as the mid-major assistant coach most likely to make it big, due to recruiting ability. Yanni had some special recruiting ability it seemed. Not only did he get credit for developing two successful players, Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons and Jeremy Lin of the Atlanta Hawks, but he also helped Vanderbilt claim the #29 spot in the 2014 list of Top Recruiting Classes.


A man with quite a work ethic, his career was unfortunately cut short due to sexual harassment allegations and the damage they caused to his reputation. He was cleared of the allegations after his lawyer put forth evidence the claims were unsubstantiated but just couldn’t recover. After one year with UNR, Yanni Hufnagel parted ways with the University and hasn’t been back in the spotlight since.