Yanni Hufnagel

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Yanni Hufnagel
Biographical details
Born (1982-08-26) August 26, 1982 (age 36)
New York City, New York
Alma mater
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2007–2009Oklahoma (graduate asst.)
2009–2013Harvard (asst.)
2013–2014Vanderbilt (asst.)
2014–2016California (asst.)
2016–2017Nevada (asst.)

Yanni Hufnagel (born August 26, 1982) is a former American college basketball coach. He last served as an assistant coach of the Nevada Wolf Pack men's basketball team under Eric Musselman.[1]

He previously served as an assistant coach for the California Golden Bears, Vanderbilt Commodores, and Harvard Crimson.[2] Hufnagel was regarded as one of the top recruiters in college basketball.[3]

Early life[edit]

Hufnagel, son of Joni and Thierry Hufnagel, was raised in Scarsdale, New York and is Jewish.[4][5] He played lacrosse for the Scarsdale High School Raiders, with his younger brother Alec, and was the team captain.[6][7] He was cut from Scarsdale High School's varsity basketball team as a junior and then took on a color commentating position for the team's games on a local access cable TV channel.[8][7]


He attended Pennsylvania State University for one year, where he was a defenseman on the lacrosse team.[9][7] Hufnagel then transferred to Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations in 2006.[9][1]

Hufnagel completed a summer internship with the New Jersey Nets, before attending the University of Oklahoma, where he served as a graduate assistant coach for the Sooners men's basketball team. While at Oklahoma, Hufnagel was credited with helping develop Blake Griffin.[10] At Oklahoma, Hufnagel earned a master's degree in Adult and Higher Education with an Emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration in 2010.[11][9]

Coaching career[edit]


In June 2009, Hufnagel joined the Harvard Crimson men's basketball program as an assistant coach and recruiter under Tommy Amaker. In 2011, he was voted by his peers in a CBS Sports survey as the mid-major assistant coach most likely to "make it big time due to his recruiting ability."[12] He was named to a CBS Sports college basketball "dream team" of assistant coaches prior to the 2012-13 season and labeled as "one of the most relentless and energetic recruiters in the game."[13] He is also noted for his role in helping to develop Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders at Harvard.[14] In Hufnagel’s four years with Harvard, the school went 90-30 and in his final season, Harvard upset New Mexico in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.[1][15]

Maccabiah Games[edit]

Hufnagel was appointed to coach the Team USA Youth Team at the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel, but declined to accept an assistant coaching position with the Vanderbilt Commodores.[16]


In May 2013, Hufnagel joined the Vanderbilt Commodores coaching staff as an assistant coach under Kevin Stallings.[17] He was credited by ESPN with helping Vanderbilt land the 29th-ranked 2014 recruiting class, which included Wade Baldwin IV and Matthew Fisher-Davis.[18][19] After one season, Hufnagel left the program.[20]

University of California, Berkeley[edit]

In 2014, Hufnagel joined the California Golden Bears coaching staff, led by Cuonzo Martin. Hufnagel is credited with helping persuade Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to join the team. The pair helped lead the Golden Bears to a 2016 NCAA Tournament berth.[21][22]

In 2015, a 24-year-old female reporter who covered the Golden Bears for an online news site (Rivals.com) filed a sexual harassment complaint against Hufnagel, claiming that after she spurned his advances he no longer gave her information and that as a result she lost her job.[23][24][25] Specifically, the reporter alleged that after driving Hufnagel home after the two went to a bar, he closed the automatic garage door behind them and insisted she come up to his apartment to have sex, which she declined.[26][27] The reporter also alleged that Hufnagel tried repeatedly to pressure her into a three-way, which he admitted; when it was clear that she would not give into his advances, he decided to feed her false information.[28] Hufnagel appealed the termination, which his attorney called a "gross miscarriage of justice."[29]

University of Nevada, Reno[edit]

On April 8, 2016, Hufnagel accepted an assistant coaching position with Eric Musselman and the University of Nevada Wolf Pack men's basketball team. The hire was strongly supported by UNR President, Marc Johnson, who publicly noted the release of hundreds of texts presented by Hufnagel's attorney should help ease concerns from students and staff about his hire.[30][31] Hufnagel did not provide these texts to California administrators for his appeal. After one season, Hufnagel and Nevada mutually parted ways after appearing in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.[32]


  1. ^ a b c "Yanni Hufnagel; Assistant Coach; Vanderbilt Basketball 2013-14"
  2. ^ Parrish, Gary (April 8, 2016). "Former Cal Assistant Yann Hufnagel is Joining Nevada's Coaching Staff". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  3. ^ Borzello, Jeff; Finkelstein, Adam (March 2, 2016). "Duke's Jeff Capel Tops CBB Recruiter Rankings". ESPN. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  4. ^ "WESTON, BERNICE - Death Notice," The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Meet Yanni Hufnagel, the Jewish Coach on Harvard Basketball's Bench" – Tablet Magazine
  6. ^ Alumni Directory - Scarsdale High School Lacrosse | VNSports
  7. ^ a b c "Turning the (Crimson) tide; Scarsdale grad Yanni Hufnagel is part of historic run at Harvard," The Scarsdale Inquirer.
  8. ^ Roisman, Jon (February 25, 2016). "Talking With an Up-and-coming Basketball Coach". J Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Yanni Hufnagel - Harvard"
  10. ^ "Men's Basketball". Harvard. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "Yanni Hufnagel". Nevada Wolf Pack Men's Basketball. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Cohen, Ben (January 17, 2013). "Harvard Basketball's Whiz Kid". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  13. ^ "2012-2013 College Basketball Previews". CBS Sports. October 8, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Yanni Hufnagel Joins Cal Men's Basketball Coaching Staff". Cal Bears. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  15. ^ Jones, Lindsay (March 22, 2013). "Harvard Pulls NCAA Tournament Shocker vs. New Mexico". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  16. ^ Thursday News - princeton basketball
  17. ^ "Vandy's Stallings Hires Harvard Assistant Yanni Hufnagel". Boston Herald. May 23, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Vanderbilt Men's Basketball Yanni Hufnagel". Vanderbilt. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "2014 Basketball Class Rankings". ESPN. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Thomson, Josh (August 24, 2014). "Star Rising at Cal for Scarsdale's Yanni Hufnagel". The Journal News. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Letourneau, Connor (April 8, 2016). "Cal Basketball Coach Hufnagel, Accused of Harassment, Resigns". SFGATE. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "Cal Meets Hawaii in NCAA Tourney First Round". Cal Athletics. March 13, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Updated with new documents: Evidence UNR used in support of hiring coach
  24. ^ "Assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel leaves the Wolf Pack"
  25. ^ "Documents and exhibits from University of Nevada call into question some elements of Yann Hufnagel sexual harassment complaint" - Cal - Scout
  26. ^ http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/14982726/ex-cal-coach-yann-hufnagel-admits-repeatedly-trying-solicit-reporter-sex
  27. ^ https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/-Harassment-Complaint-Against-UC-Berkeley-Basketball-Coach-Details-Sexual-Advances-towards-Female-Reporter-372153012.html
  28. ^ https://deadspin.com/fired-cal-coach-who-asked-reporter-for-three-way-gets-n-1771142988
  29. ^ Hernandez, Jodi (April 4, 2016). "'Gross Miscarriage of Justice': UC Berkeley Coach Fired for Alleged Sexual Harassment Tries to Clear Name". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  30. ^ McAndrew, Siobhan (April 18, 2016). "Updated with New Documents:Evidence UNR Used in Support of Hiring Coach". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "Nevada Defends Hire of Ex-Cal Assistant Accused of Sexual Harassment". ESPN. April 15, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  32. ^ Murray, Chris (March 22, 2017). "Assistant Coach Yanni Hufnagel Leaves the Wolf Pack". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved June 18, 2017.

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