Throughout college basketball and the NBA, there are many coaches who have either paid their dues to get where they are or those who have had the keys handed to them on a silver platter. In either case, once a coach is at the helm, he or she will have to prove that they can command success.
One such coach who is on the rise is current University of Nevada men’s assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel. Unlike other coaches who have either played at a college level or even in the NBA, Yanni Hufnagel was cut from his high school varsity team, and has never really played. But that has not stopped him from his dream of becoming a coach.
After being cut from the high school team, Yanni Hufnagel started broadcasting for his Alma matter. He then went to Penn state to play LaCrosse, but after one year he transferred to Cornell where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
It was after graduating from Cornell that Yanni Hufnagel had his first shot at basketball beyond high school as an intern for the New Jersey Nets. He was then hired as a graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma where he earned his Master’s degree and helped coach NBA sensation Blake Griffin.
Once Yanni Hufnagel had his foot in the door, he received many opportunities to expand his coaching skills, first with Harvard, then Vanderbilt, then it was on to UC Berkley. After a small speed bump at UC Berkley, Yanni was able to move on to Nevada.
Yanni has continued to move up in the coaching world and is being recognized as one of the top college basketball recruiters in the country. He has continued to learn and grow to expand his coaching skills and provide success in each role.