Persistence and Energy: Yanni Hufnagel

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Yanni Hufnagel is an ever-running source of persistence and energy. Once considered one of the best assistant coaches in college basketball with a reputation of doing whatever it takes to get his man. Those who come across his path are impressed with the go-getting move maker.


Who Is Yanni Hufnagel?

Yanni was born on August 26, 1982, in Scarsdale, New York. He went to Pennsylvania State University and was on the lacrosse team as a defenseman. He went on to attend Cornell University where he would obtain his Bachelor of Science degree pertaining to Industrial and Labor Relations in 2006.


He served as an intern to the New Jersey Nets. This experience served him well as he became an assistant coach for the Sooners men’s basketball team at the University of Oklahoma. While there he helped mold Blake Griffin.


The Drive and Will To Recruit

Jon Rothstein, a CBS sports analyst was once quoted as saying, “Yanni is, without question, one of the more relentless people I’ve ever met in my life.” This is what it takes to be a recruiter. He was dedicated to his job and travel a lot. His hard work and dedication paid off for whoever employed him at that time.


Oil Rises To The Top

As he continued to travel all over the country and scout top prospects his reputation and value grew. Yanni Hufnagel became one of the most talked about assistants for his fire and work. Although he says that he didn’t really see a career in coaching until he headed to Oklahoma to assist Jeff Capel. This is where he would work with the great ballplayer Blake Griffin.


He really earned his reputation as a solid trainer and recruiter while at Harvard. Under the tutelage of Tommy Amaker. While there he got to work with Jeremy Lin and Wesley Saunders both great players in their own rights. As Yanni moved on and acquired more wisdom he has left his mark at every stop.


Yanni Hufnagel said of his work, “I think when you’re passionate about what you do and what you believe in, in a kid, a prospect, then it doesn’t really feel like work.”