Yanni Hufnagel was born on August 26, 1982, to Joni and Thierry Hufnagel in Scarsdale, New York. He grew up in Scarsdale and played lacrosse throughout his high school years alongside his younger brother who also served as the team captain. He also expressed his interest in varsity basketball but, alas, did not make the team when he tried out. He would, however, end up becoming a commentator for their games and eventually matriculated at Penn State University. Whilst in college, he served as a defenseman for their lacrosse team before transferring to Cornell where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Industrial and Labor Relations. After graduation, he completed an internship with the New Jersey Nets before enrolling in school at the University of Oklahoma.
Whilst there, he served as an assistant coach for their men’s basketball team where he worked with such up-and-coming young stars as Blake Griffin. He went on to graduate in 2010 with a degree in adult and higher education. He later joined the Harvard basketball team as an assistant coach where he worked for over four years. He later was appointed as a coach for Team USA at the Maccabiah games before taking a coaching position at the University of Vanderbilt. He left the program after one season to take a job with the University of California Berkley and this is where his career began to take a downturn. In 2015, a female reporter provided allegations of sexual misconduct.
Of course, he vehemently denied these claims but he nevertheless resigned his position less than a year later due to his claims that this slander has damaged his reputation. He did later accept a position as an assistant coach at the University of Nevada Reno. The president of the university was wholeheartedly supportive of him joining their team despite the recent allegations against him. He even argued that all the evidence pointed to him being not guilty of this heinous crime in spite of what the reporter had to say. He nevertheless left this position after just one season and hasn’t worked in coaching since then.