I am going to make a bold college basketball prediction. My prediction does not concern the winner of March madness or which basketball program will be the next one to rise to prominence. My prediction is going to concern the next great college basketball coach. The man I foresee taking over a Division I program and dominating is young Yanni Hufnagel.
Yanni Hufnagel is only in his early 30s and is currently the assistant coach at the University of Nevada, Reno. He seems to be on the same career trajectory as Brad Stevens was at his age. That is one positive sign towards his future dominance, but you really have to sift into his past to see just how good of a coach he is.
He has quite an impressive resume, serving as an assistant coach and recruiter at the University of California at Berkeley and Villanova. He was able to identify back court skills and put together some outstanding recruiting classes. In just three short years working for these two universities, Yanni Hufnagel was able to recruit at least four NBA draft picks.
But those are the colleges that you expect to succeed. What really impresses me is what he did at Harvard University. Starting in 2009, Yanni Hufnagel led the Crimson Tide to a 79-24 record and he got the school nationally ranked for the very first time. Harvard University, the country’s oldest college, one it’s very first Ivy league championship because of Yanni Hufnagel.
The 2011 season really stands out. Harvard 26 games, the most wins in school history, and Yanni Hufnagel gained national recognition. CBS Sports ran a poll of college coaches who named Yanni Hufnagel the assistant coach most likely to succeed Based on recruiting skills. If he continues to recruit like this, he’ll be running his own program in no time.