As the University of Nevada at Reno prepares to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years, a seemingly unlikely face is on the sideline. Cornell Educated, Yanni Hufnagel does not have the typical pedigree one expects when it comes coaching major Division I College Basketball.
A native of Scarsdale, NY who was raised Jewish, one would logically make the assumption that Hufnagel would end up where most Ivy League Graduates end up, in the world of Law, Finance, or Medicine. Instead, upon graduating from Cornell with an degree in Labor Relations, Hufnagel began coaching College Basketball, and the rest as they say, is history.
In stops at Oklahoma, Harvard, and the University of California, among others, Hufnagel established himself as a masterful recruiter, a role that is essential for a College Basketball Assistant Coach to master to become a success. At Harvard, specifically, Hufnagel was able to recruit outstanding student-athletes without being able to offer athletic scholarships and shone brightly in this role. Hufnagel’s above average verbal abilities and talent at connecting with individuals from all walks of life was, and continues to be a huge asset in the world of College Basketball recruiting.
Regardless of how deep the University of Nevada advances in the NCAA tournament, Yanni Hufnagel as made quite a name for himself as a basketball coach. It is only a matter of time until Hufnagel leaves the University and the staff of former NBA Head Coach Eric Musselman to head his own program. A role in which there is no doubt Hufnagel will not only thrive, but excel! Not bad for someone who was cut from their high school basketball team.