Yanni Hufnagel, born August 28, 1982, is a former assistant basketball coach for the Harvard Crimson, Vanderbilt Commodores, California Golden Bears, and the Nevada Wolf Pack men’s college basketball programs, and also was a graduate assistant for the Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball team.
Hufnagel began his career with the New Jersey Nets in a summer internship program, after which he earned his first coaching position as a graduate assistant with the Sooners in the year 2007 under head coach Tommy Amaker. Mr. Hufnagel is widely credited with developing former Sooner great and perennial NBA All-Star Blake Griffin, currently playing for the Detroit Pistons.
After a two-year stint in Oklahoma, he joined the Harvard Crimson men’s basketball program as a full-fledged assistant coach. He was also an extremely talented recruiter, for which he was voted most expected to launch into the stratosphere by his peers, based solely on his recruiting ability. Prior to the 2012-13 college basketball season, he was named to CBS Sports “all coaching dream team”, once again recognized for his remarkable recruiting skills. At Harvard, he is largely credited for developing current NBA player Jeremy “Linsanity” Lin, currently playing for the Atlanta Hawks, and former D-League and current Italian League player, Wesley Saunders. During Hufnagel’s 4-year-stint, Harvard’s record was 90-30. In his final season at Harvard, seeded #14, they upset #3 seeded New Mexico in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
In 2013, He joined the Vanderbilt Commodores, led by head coach Kevin Stallings. Hufnagel was instrumental in helping Vanderbilt land the 29th ranked recruiting class in the country, featuring star recruits Wade Baldwin IV and Matthew Fisher-Davis.
Hufnagel then joined the California Golden Bears in 2014, coached by Cuonzo Martin. He is credited with persuading 5-star recruits Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to join California in 2015, which helped them to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2016.
From 2016-2017, Hufnagel was a coach under Eric Musselman for the Nevada Wolf Pack. He helped them earn a berth in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.