The Rise of Yanni Hufnagel

Being a coach can be a demanding occupation. Those at the top of the profession often reap great financial benefits. There are however, a number of hard working coaches that are putting in lots of work more for the love of the sport then the pay they get. Yanni Hufnagel is on of those coaches. The assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Nevada, Hufnagel is quickly making his way up the ranks as one of the best coaches in the game. He has earned the respect of many well known coaches in the profession.


In a recent article, Ben Cohen recently summarized the greatness of this Jewish-American coach. Cohen met up with Hufnagel to get some insight into his success. Hufnagel worked himself up from a basketball manager and now receives high praise from respected coaches in the game. Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel interviewed Hufnagel for a possible assistant job when he was the head coach at Oklahoma. He described Hufnagel as “a ball of energy.” During his time at Oklahoma he had the chance to work with NBA star Blake Griffin. “He’s probably the most genuine, hardworking guy I’ve ever been around in basketball,” said Taylor Griffin, Blake’s brother and Oklahoma teammate. This is just an idea of what Cohen learned about Hufnagel.


Respected coach Tommy Amaker also had high praise for Hufnagel. Hufnagel worked with Amaker while he was building the basketball program at Harvard. At this point he was an volunteer assistant coach making the same amount of money as an intern. Amaker saw Hufnagel earn a great reputation as a recruiter. ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg described his praise for Hufnagel by saying “It’s hard not to like Yanni Hufnagel.”


Yanni Hufnagel continues to make great strides as a college basketball coach. He has built a great reputation as a recruiter. He is sure to become a popular name in the head coaching search of the future.