Lincoln - Tim Miles rounded out his basketball staff with the hiring of Ali Farokhmanesh (pronounced fuh-ROAK-muh-NESH) as a graduate assistant manager on Wednesday.
“I'm fired up to have Ali part of our program,” said Miles, the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year. “He's had a distinguished career as a player and has a great mind for coaching. He will definitely be a key addition for us as we try and move the program forward.”
Farokhmanesh spent the last four seasons playing professionally overseas in Holland, Austria and Switzerland. Last year, he was the Sixth Man of the Year in the Dutch Basketball League, averaging 10.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. His best season was with SAM Massagno Basket in the Swiss league in 2010-11, where he averaged 19.5 points, 3.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 48 percent from 3-point range.
Farokhmanesh is best known for the two seasons he spent at Northern Iowa, helping the Panthers to a 53-16 record with two NCAA appearances, including the school’s first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2009-10. He finished his career seventh on UNI’s career 3-point chart with 152.
As a senior, he earned honorable-mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors, averaging 9.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game, as UNI went 30-5, including an upset of top-seeded Kansas to reach the Sweet 16. In that game, Farokhmanesh had 16 points, including a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to clinch the victory and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He also provided the heroics in UNI’s second-round win over UNLV, finishing with 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left for the final margin. Farokhmanesh scored in double figures 17 times as a senior, including a career-high 23 points against Old Dominion, while his 77 3-pointers were the third most in school history.
In his first season at UNI, Farokhmanesh started all 34 games and averaged 9.6 points and 1.6 assists per game en route to being named to the MVC All-Newcomer squad. He hit 75 3-pointers and totaled a pair of 20-point games that season, including a 20-pooint effort against Indiana State with all of his points coming in the second half and overtime.
He played two years of junior college basketball, earning first-team NJCAA Division II All-America honors at Kirkwood Community College, when he averaged 17 points, five assists and three rebounds per game. In his lone season at Kirkwood CC, the Eagles went 32-3 and placed third at the national tournament. Originally from Pullman, Wash. Before moving to Iowa, Farokhmanesh was a first-team all-state selection at Iowa City West High School, averaging 18.5 points and 5.5 assists per game as a senior.
Farokhmanesh received his degree in finance at Northern Iowa in 2010 and is currently studying educational administration at Nebraska. He married the former Mallory Husz in June of 2014.