Assistant Coach, Yanni Hufnagel on Leadership

For many people, talking about sports coaching is meaning earning much money, the reality is, serving as a coach or Assistant, like any other activity, is subject to the competitive rules of “supply and demand” and reality is that there is an abundance of qualified people ready to coach for little money. As a result, the vast majority of college coaches have a very modest salary. Certainly, we hear about the high salaries of the college teams Division I-Football Bowl Subdivision. However, these are a very small number compared to a larger market.

Talking about NCAA Division refer to colleges and universities. Coaching in these institutions pays much less than coaching in Division I FBS level. Indeed, as mentioned above, it often happens that it pays less than coaching at the high school level. As a result, many experienced coaches choose to train at the high school level and the Division II and III levels often serve as a training course for young coaches. Level II and III assistant coaches earn modest salaries and at Division III level, only 3 or 4 coaches are paid full time. The rest of the coaches are part-time and have jobs outside, and they are coaching after work for an allowance, like coaches at the high school level. Then, we do not see nor hear him so much, but the assistant coach is an indispensable part of a team. Together or separately with the head coach, the assistant coach is responsible for organizing training sessions, making proposals to the head coach and consulting the opposing team’s game videos to adjust tactics for a better playing. It is important to notice that, some assistant coaches have direct coaching responsibilities, and others not. So before becoming a head coach, the assistant remains a complementarity to the coach even his opinions are not taken into account.


Interview with assistant basketball coach Yanni Hufnagel

An article by gives a short interview with assistant basketball coach Yanni Hufnagel, who is currently working with Vanderbilt University after having a lot of success at Harvard. The assistant coach led Harvard to their first-ever victory during March Madness years ago. He has proven himself time and time again as a great recruiter and with developing players skillsets. The interview with Jewish Boston gives four different questions for the coach to answer. The first question asks about the coach’s new job, where he answers that he will be an assistant coach for Vanderbilt University and an opportunity that he could simply not refuse. He sees similarities with Harvard with the college’s beautiful campus, being a great academic school, recruiting, city, and weather. Hufnagel will always be indebted to Harvard and for the memories, he made in his four years there.

The next question addresses the coach’s work with developing proven NBA stars such as Jeremy Lin and Blake Griffin and what he looks for in these players. Yanni Hufnagel lists three basic questions he asks himself when scouting players in – are you a winner? Are you coachable? Are you someone I’d like to be around? He says that working with other coaches is a big help and the athletes’ personality are also telling. The assistant coach likes to bring his energy and positivity when recruiting talent. Yanni Hufnagel notices that basketball is more fluid than other sports and that quantitative analysis is picking up in basketball. He believes that the NBA league has already undergone a transformation. The last question comically asks if he can dunk, to where Yanni replies “no.” The coach does mention that he can shoot if he has time and with a good foundation, but that from seeing and developing terrific athletes, he would rather have them shoot than him any day.