Hufnagel is in his first year with the Pack
“I met Yanni nearly a decade ago and his track record as an assistant at three high-caliber academic institutions speaks for itself,” Musselman said. “He’s a high-energy coach and recruiter, and we’re thrilled to have him in our program.”
In his two years in Berkeley, Hufnagel worked with one of the top backcourts in the Pac-12, highlighted by 2016 NBA Draft picks Jaylen Brown and Tyrone Wallace. Brown was recognized as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2015-16, while Wallace is the only California player to currently rank among the school’s all-time top 10 in scoring, assists and steals. Brown was selected with the third overall pick by the Boston Celtics, while Wallace was drafted 60th overall by the Utah Jazz.
In his final season at California, Hufnagel helped the Golden Bears post a 23-11 overall record and earn a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest in the history of the program.
At California, Hufnagel helped recruit a consensus top 5 recruiting class in 2015 featuring McDonald’s All-Americans Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb. The class was ranked second nationally by Scout.com, fourth by Rivals and fifth by both ESPN and 247Sports.
Hufnagel came to California prior to the 2014-15 campaign, following a season at Vanderbilt where he served as an assistant coach under Kevin Stallings. He helped land a nationally-ranked freshman class as the Commodores’ recruiting coordinator in 2014, highlighted by Wade Baldwin IV and Matthew Fisher-Davis. Baldwin IV earned All-SEC second team honors in 2015-16, while Fisher-Davis led the SEC in three-point shooting percentage at 44.6%. Baldwin IV left Vanderbilt after two seasons and was drafted 17th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. While at Vanderbilt, Hufnagel coached Damian Jones who was selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
Prior to his time in Nashville, Hufnagel served four seasons as an assistant coach at Harvard where he helped lead the Crimson to the postseason each year. During the four years he was in Boston, Harvard posted at least 20 wins each season, recorded a 90-30 four-year mark, and captured three-consecutive Ivy League titles. He helped lead Harvard to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1946 in 2012. The 2013 Harvard squad advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament when the 14th-seeded Crimson upset third-seeded New Mexico for the program’s first-ever postseason victory.
In Hufnagel’s third season at Harvard in 2011-12, the Crimson posted a school-record 26 victories, earning the program’s first-ever national ranking. The Crimson ascended as high as No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll.
Hufnagel served as Harvard’s recruiting coordinator where he was lauded for bringing in several highly-rated recruiting classes. CBS Sports recognized Hufnagel as “one of the most relentless and energetic recruiters in the game,” in its 2012-13 College Basketball Preview, while naming him one of their nine “Dream Team” assistant coaches in college basketball.
Hufnagel was also noted for the development of the Crimson’s guards into All-Ivy League selections. Jeremy Lin, now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, was a 2010 first-team all-conference pick. Wesley Saunders was an All-Ivy League selection in 2013, later developing into the conference Player of the Year. Siyani Chambers was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2013.
From 2007-09, Hufnagel was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma, where he helped conduct individual workouts, assisted the coaching staff during practice and organized all on-campus recruiting visits. In his two years at Oklahoma, the Sooners won 53 games and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
With the Sooners, Hufnagel assisted in the development of Blake Griffin, the first overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin was named the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year and has appeared in five NBA All-Star games.
Hufnagel has experience at the NBA level, serving an internship in basketball operations with the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) where he assisted the front office in preparation for the draft.
Hufnagel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 2006 and a Master's Degree in Adult and Higher Education, with an emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration, from Oklahoma in 2010.