Now Entering Russ's World
Making a career as a coach in major college basketball can be very challenging. This is particularly the case for younger coaches and those that never played basketball at a higher level. However, those that have a strong set of skills in a particular area may find that they are able still highly sought after by top programs.
One young college basketball coach who has continued to make his way up the coaching ladder is Yanni Hufnagel. Hufnagel, who grew up in New York, has always been a basketball fan, but never played the sport beyond junior high school. Hufnagel originally went to Penn State University, but transferred to Cornell after one year. While he was at Cornell, Hufnagel was given the opportunity to get an internship working for the New Jersey Nets.
After graduating from Cornell, Hufnagel opted to turn down a number of other career opportunities to pursue a career in coaching. His big break came one year after graduating when he got a job working as a graduate assistant for the University of Oklahoma. After one year at Oklahoma, he was given the opportunity to be an assistant coach for the Harvard basketball team.
Hufnagel developed a strong reputation as a top recruiter while he was at Harvard. One of the biggest challenges that Harvard faces is having to recruit top players that still qualify academically and are willing to play without an academic scholarships. Despite these challenges, he was able to recruit several top-100 players that had a number of different options from other schools
After Harvard, Hufnagel had a few different jobs at different schools and continued to develop his resume and reputation. Today, many people consider him the top recruiter in the nation as he has proven to continue to bring in top talent.
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