Next to Eric Musselman on the sideline for the University of Nevada at Reno’s Men Basketball team is a face that will soon become familiar, Assistant Coach Yanni Hufnagel. A rarity in that he is a Jewish Coach in a major College Basketball, Hufnagel is Cornell educated, and unlike many similar Ivy League educated peers is not a Doctor, Lawyer, or Banker.
Previously an assistant basketball coach at institutions ranging from Oklahoma to Harvard, it is only a matter of time before Hufnagel becomes a Head College Basketball Coach. Hufnagel’s greatest strength when it comes to coaching is not what he does on the floor, but rather his abilities off of it. Success in College Basketball is based on the players, and most top players have numerous choices regarding where to continue their basketball careers. For this reason, a coaches ability to recruit student athletes is of the utmost importance.
While coaching at Harvard, Hufnagel was at a severe disadvantage in the aforementioned area as unlike many other schools, Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships, and its admission requirements are rigorous, to say the least. Hufnagel’s charm and natural abilities to communicate with others brought him a great amount of success as a recruiter at Harvard, and have followed him to other institutions at which he has coached.
While he never played College Basketball himself, and was in fact cut from his High School Basketball Team, Yanni Hufnagel has and continues to make a name for himself in the world of College Basketball. Not bad for someone whose only playing experience in College Athletics was a year as a Lacrosse Player at Penn State before transferring to Cornell. Yanni Hufnagel is a name to watch in College Basketball.