Out is the longest tenured assistant men’s basketball coach in the Southeastern Conference. In is one of the younger recruiters in the country.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings announced on Thursday the departure of longtime assistant Brad Frederick but welcomed former Harvard assistant Yanni Hufnagel. Frederick, who has been with Stallings since he arrived at Vanderbilt in 1999, left to pursue other opportunities.
“We’re excited to have Yanni join our staff here at Vanderbilt,” Stallings said. “He is a superb young coach with a tireless work ethic, and is also an outstanding recruiter and evaluator of talent. We look forward to him working with our student-athletes and the entire Commodore basketball family. While we are excited for Yanni’s arrival, we will surely miss Brad, both personally and professionally. He joined me as a young man right out of college when I arrived here at Vanderbilt in 1999, and he has grown into a tremendous, well-rounded coach.”
Hufnagel, 30, spent the last four years working under Tommy Amaker at Harvard as the recruiting coordinator, coached perimeter players and scouted opponents. During that stretch, the Crimson posted four 20-win seasons, won the Ivy League championship three times and reached the NCAA Tournament twice.
In 2012, Harvard made the Big Dance for the first time since 1946 and played Vanderbilt in the opening round. This past season, the Crimson pulled a big upset by shocking No. 3 seed New Mexico for their first postseason win.
In each of the last three seasons, Harvard signed a player ranked in Rivals.com’s Top 150. The Crimson’s last two recruiting classes have also been ranked as one of the Top-10 non-BCS recruiting classes in the country by Rivals.com, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and Scout.com.
Hufnagel also worked with NBA stars Jeremy Lin, a Harvard grad, and Blake Griffin. Hufnagel spent two years with Griffin at Oklahoma, where he was a graduate assistant from 2007-09. He also served as a basketball operations intern for the New Jersey Nets and was a special assistant to then-head coach Lawrence Frank.
Hufnagel, who grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., graduated from Cornell in 2006 and was a student manager for current Boston College coach Steve Donahue. Hufnagel is expected to join Stallings’ staff soon, pending a background check. He was scheduled to be the head coach of the Maccabi USA Youth Team in the 2013 Maccabiah Games in July. The international Jewish athletic competition is held every four years in Israel.
“I couldn't be more excited to join coach Stallings and the rest of his outstanding staff here at Vanderbilt,” Hufnagel said. "Coach Stallings is not only recognized as one of the best coaches in college basketball, but also as one of the most family-driven. Vanderbilt’s brand is a powerful one and I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to represent such an elite institution. I look forward to becoming a part of the Vanderbilt community, getting going on the court with our current players, and hitting the recruiting trail.”