I would like to speak about a wonderful man by the name of Yanni Hufnagel, and his contribution to the Vanderbilt Commodores basketball team. In May of 2013, he joined our faculty as a basketball coach after a previous stint with the Harvard Crimson as their recruiting coordinator. Hufnagel was directly involved with Player Development and scouting of the competition for the Crimson, and his direction leads to four 20-win seasons. He had also won Ivy League titles for Harvard for the last three years.
He would take his talents to Vanderbilt, where according to ESPN, he had made the top 30 recruiting class for the Commodores. He was invited to participate in a Nike sponsored conference known as The Villa 7.
When Yanni Hufnagel worked at Harvard, he led the Crimson to a 21 and 8 record in his first season with them. At the time, that was the record for their basketball program. They had also established a 10-4 record amongst other Ivy League schools, and he had also coached the famous Jeremy Lin, who went to go on to the NBA, where he currently plays for the Houston Rockets. He had an even better record his second season, with 23 wins and 7 losses and a 12-2 record amongst the Ivy Leagues. He had also brought them their first NCAA Tournament entry since 1946.
Before he worked for Harvard, Hufnagel was a graduate assistant for the University of Oklahoma’s basketball team. It was there where he helped develop Blake Griffin, who was the first selection of the 2009 NBA draft. Before his stint at Oklahoma, Hufnagel was an intern with the New Jersey Nets, assisting them with the NBA draft. Hufnagel’s success can be attributed to his great eye for talent and his ability to develop players.