Recruiting is the name of the game in basketball. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable and effective a head coach is if he doesn’t have the right weapons. That’s why Yanni Hufnagel is such an important piece in the quest for an NCAA championship.
Yanni Hufnagel is currently serving as a recruiting specialist for Vanderbilt. He also coaches the perimeter players for the Commodores. He landed at the school in 2014 and his recruiting prowess played a key role in the school’s top-30 recruiting class. It’s his first prominent role with a sports-first school after coming to Vanderbilt from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Harvard is where he carved out his name in college basketball. His recruiting skills put together a team that would go on an impressive streak. The Crimson put together four consecutive 20-win seasons, locked up an Ivy League Championship and broke into the NCAA tournament twice in the short time that Yanni Hufnagel served as the school’s player recruitment specialist. This recruiting prowess is what got the attention of Vanderbilt but he cut his teeth long before Harvard.
Yanni Hufnagel graduated from Cornell in 2006. He then set his sights on a Masters degree of Education at the University of Oklahoma. He would serve as a player recruitment specialist during his time at the University and would put together the school’s comprehensive player recruitment database. It’s at Oklahoma where he developed a relationship with NBA star Blake Griffin who he would help with his jump shot during his off time.
Yanni Hufnagel was able to serve as an intern for the New Jersey Nets before arriving at Oklahoma. He gained valuable experience with the NBA team as they prepared for the draft. He was able to be in the room with the biggest thinkers on the New Jersey-based team. And he was there when the NBA draft went down.
Yanni Hufnagel has also been an integral part of his communities. He still serves the Partners for Youth with Disabilities in Boston.