When Yanni Hufnagel was cut from the varsity basketball team, he had no clue that he would someday rise to become the assistant basketball coach for the Harvard Crimson. Since his basketball skills were not good enough to make it to Scarsdale High School team, he worked as a basketball commentator where he analyzed games on public television. When he joined Cornell University, he secured a job as a basketball manager, a position that he held until he graduated from the institution. Later, Yanni’s friend introduced him to the former boss of Oklahoma basketball coach, Jeff Capel. After an interview with Capel, Yanni Hufnagel was offered a job as the assistant coach of Oklahoma basketball team.
His determination and hard work at Oklahoma paid off when Capel recommended him to the Harvard Crimson Head Coach, Tommy Amaker, who was searching for a volunteer assistant coach. His skill and enthusiasm won him the job yet again. Yanni started serving as an assistant coach in college basketball where he quickly learnt how to schmooze with coaches. He also developed texting skills to be able to blend with the students. Last year, the Harvard Crimson basketball made a historic win in the Ivy League. Ahead of the Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer, Yanni Hufnagel is set to coach Maccabi USA’S young team.
Yanni Hufnagel’s Career Highlights
During a CBS sports survey in 2011, Yanni’s peers voted him as the assistant coach, who is likely to make it big time due to his recruiting expertise. He was also among the CBS college basketball “dream team” list of assistant coaches ahead of the 2013-13 season. His tenure at Harvard is also epitomized by the role he played in developing couch-surfing basketball phenoms, Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders. Yanni Hufnagel has served as an assistant coach of other teams, including Vanderbilt, the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of California