Yanni Hufnagel was a successful assistant college basketball coach with a passion for recruiting. He takes advantage of all opportunities, so if the time comes for him to deal with more than two people in one session, he can handle it with ease. Jon Rothstein refers to Yanni Hufnagel as relentless and like a basketball energizer bunny. He says Hufnagel can go all day long to prove his loyalty to any program he works for. Hufnagel’s love and hard work during his career made a name for him as an assistant in the country.
Hufnagel said when you’re doing something you’re passionate about and you believe in it makes the job feel less like work. He said he planned to do whatever it took. When he was younger, doing whatever it took meant lining up his action figures to make plays. As a teenager, he was a 16-year-old analyst for the local broadcast station. Ed Cohen says Hufnagel used to use sports jargon well beyond what you would expect to hear from a normal 16-year-old. Even later, Hufnagel became a student manager, but he still hadn’t dedicated his time to coaching until the age of 23. In Oklahoma, he was a graduate assistant for a couple of years under Jeff Capel, and next to Blake Griffin, who later became a number 1 pick for the NBA.
How The Coaching And Recruiting Started
Luck was on the side on Yanni Hufnagel in this business. He says he thinks to work with Jeff and Blake and seeing their work ethic had a big influence on his career today. Hufnagel got his first shot as a coach and recruiter under Tommy Amaker at Harvard. For four years he worked and formed relationships with athletes mainly from the west coast. One of Harvard’s best team members was Jeremy Lin. Hufnagel eventually brought in Wesley Saunders from Los Angeles. Matt Rayan is one of the many prospects sought by Hufnagel. Ryan reflects back on their initial phone call, taking place while the coach was checking out at the supermarket. Even though Ryan wound up at another school instead, he felt a strong impression from Hufnagel. He says Hufnagel didn’t give up and he had a real vision for Ryan, describing the type of school Ryan would attend, and he was spot on.