Dismissed at California, Yann Hufnagel embraces new start

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) Yann Hufnagel returned to the bench as a Nevada assistant for his first formal game Friday night since being fired by California late last season amid allegations of sexual harassment.

In a short interview with The Associated Press during the Wolf Pack's warmups to face Saint Mary's in the season opener, Hufnagel expressed how appreciative he is to be back in the game and he still roots for the entire Cal program. He was hired by second-year Nevada coach Eric Musselman, the former head coach of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

The dismissal of Hufnagel in Berkeley made for a major distraction just before coach Cuonzo Martin's No. 4-seeded Golden Bears – the program's highest seed in school history – opened the NCAA Tournament against No. 13 Hawaii, which pulled off a 77-66 first-round South Regional upset in Spokane, Washington.

''I'm incredibly grateful to Eric for the opportunity and really excited to be a part of the Wolf Pack family,'' Hufnagel told The AP. ''I will always be a fan of Cal, especially the players that are still there and Cuonzo. So that's it.''

Hufnagel didn't want to comment directly on details surrounding his firing. Two days before the NCAA Tournament game in March, the university announced it was reviewing whether Martin properly handled sexual harassment allegations made by a female reporter against Hufnagel. He was fired March 15 after nearly two seasons as a Cal assistant, the fourth campus employee in a year to face sexual harassment allegations that were substantiated during campus investigations.

An administrative review showed that all department employees – including Martin – responded properly. Martin received a contract extension last month taking him through the 2020-21 season.