Yanni Hufnagel, the assistant coach for the Harvard Crimson, is an enthusiastic young man. With unprecedented success at Crimson, the Jewish coach, who in his early 30s, will soon be recruited by renowned powerhouses having vast resources. As a kid, Hufnagel loved to fiddle with the figurines of different basketball players and read a lot of coaching books. His journey in sports started when he was a student at Scarsdale High School. Yanni was an active basketball player. However, he did not make it to the varsity basketball team. Notably, Yanni worked as a basketball commentator for a local TV station. For a season, he played lacrosse at Pennsylvania State University before transferring to Cornell University. In his first year at Cornell, Yanni Hufnagel worked as a basketball manager before securing an internship with the New Jersey Nets. After graduating, Yanni joined the University of Oklahoma.
His friend introduced him to the head coach of Oklahoma basketball team, Jeff Capel. At the time, Jeff was searching for a graduate assistant. Yanni Hufnagel’s deep passion for basketball inspired him to improve the performance of the team. Yanni impressed Capel, who introduced him to the head coach of the Harvard Crimson, Tomy Amaker. Yanni Hufnagel started working as a volunteer assistant coach. By virtue of upholding the highest levels of professionalism, he was able to inspire the players to win different tournaments. To this end, he was appointed to serve as the assistant coach. At Harvard, Yanni helped the team to win the Ivy League. In addition, he produced Jeremy Lin, a couch-surfing basketball sensation. In a CBS Sports survey conducted in 2009, more than 100 coaches voted him as the assistant coach who is most likely to “make it big time due to his recruiting ability.” Ahead of the 2012-13 season, CBS named Yanni Hufnagel in the college basketball dream team of assistant coaches. Yanni has worked for Vanderbilt and University of Nevada, Reno as an assistant coach. At the University of California, Berkeley, he served as a coaching staff.