Yanni Hufnagel’s has been like water. When you spilled water on the ground, it begins to flow down the path of least resistance. That is how water finds its way home; Where it is supposed to be.
Yanni Hufnagel grew up in Scarsdale, New York, where he was unable to make his own high school varsity basketball team. He always knew he was destined for a life in basketball, but it became clear that he would not be able to play the game. So he became determined to stay close to the game in order to carve a wife out for himself.
He quit college lacrosse and transferred to Cornell University in order to take an unpaid internship with the New Jersey Nets. This put them inside the strategy room for the teams upcoming NBA draft, giving Yanni Hufnagel invaluable experience.
He built on that experience as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma. He was allowed to assist in basketball practices for the Sooners and was put in charge of on-campus recruiting visits. His talent was recognized right away and the head coach of Oklahoma recommended him to Harvard University.
He made a huge splash at Harvard. Starting in 2009, when Yanni Hufnagel hits the ground in Cambridge, the Crimson Tide would go on an impressive four-year run with a 79-24 record. The oldest school in the country finally won its first Ivy League championship. The school was also nationally ranked for the first time in 2011 after achieving a school record of 26 victories.
Yanni Hufnagel was responsible for assembling this juggernaut. His team included the likes of NBA superstar Jeremy Lin, and he was able to recruit top-notch players despite Harvard’s unwillingness to issue athletic scholarships. This is the kind of coach that every Division I college program should want.