Yanni Hufnagel: Basketball’s Do It All Coach

Yanni Hufnagel joined the Vanderbilt coaching staff in 2013 following a successful career of winning campaigns with various college programs. As an excellent recruiter, he helped Vanderbilt to a top 30 recruiting class in 2014. Vanderbilt’s head coach, Kevin Stallings, spoke of Hufnagel’s tireless work ethic and his outstanding ability to evaluate and recruit future stars and leaders for the program.


Yanni was quoted talking about his excitement to become a member of Coach Stalling’s staff. He indicated how humbled he was to join a family driven program at such a prestigious university.


Yanni Hufnagel’s career has been on the rise since he graduated from Cornell University in 2006. He spent a summer in the NBA’s New Jersey Nets organization as a special assistant to head coach Lawrence Frank. He also assisted the front office preparing for the upcoming NBA draft. From there he proceeded to the University of Oklahoma where he received his Master of Education degree in 2010 specializing in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration.


While at Oklahoma, Hufnagel served as a graduate assistant working in recruiting and team individual workouts. In the two years spent at Oklahoma, the team was invited to the NCAA Tournament both years rising to the Elite Eight level one year and the second round in the other. This prepared him for a winning coaching career. He also helped develop Blake Griffin into the first overall selection in the NBA draft in 2009.


His next assignment came from Harvard University. His coaching duties included recruitment coordinator and opponent scouting. He also was responsible for coaching perimeter players. During his first season at Harvard, he helped the team achieve a 21-8 overall record. This was a university best for victories and was the first in four consecutive 20-win seasons.


Other successes during his four seasons at Harvard included three consecutive Ivy League titles and two consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. Hufnagel was also active serving as a mentor with the Boston based Partners for Youth with Disabilities.