Assistant Coach Cohen Leaves Harvard for Vanderbilt

Harvard men’s basketball assistant coach Adam Cohen will be leaving the Crimson for a similar position at Vanderbilt University, CBSSports reported late Thursday afternoon. The move comes two weeks after former Harvard assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel unexpectedly left Vanderbilt to take the same position at University of California, Berkeley.

Cohen joined the Crimson last offseason, coming over from Rice University. Both Cohen and assistant coach Christian Webster '13—also a new hire one year ago—were part of the program’s collective effort to replace Hufnagel’s recruiting contributions.

“He’s incredibly well thought of in the coaching profession and the community, and we’ve loved him and known him for some time,” said Amaker about Cohen last summer. “He’s worked with some great, great coaches.”

Indeed, Cohen got his start in coaching by sending handwritten letters to hundreds of Division I coaches. Current University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner was one of those who contacted him, but Cohen eventually took a position at the University of Buffalo as a volunteer team manager.

After spending a semester in Buffalo, Pastner—then an assistant at the University of Arizona under coach Lute Olson—offered Cohen a scholarship and a manager’s job. Cohen stayed at Arizona for three years, later spending time at the University of Southern California and Rice before coming to Harvard.

—Staff writer David Freed can be reached at


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