Cornell Mann enters his third season as a member of the Iowa State coaching staff after helping the Cyclones achieve unprecedented success during his tenure in Ames.
Iowa State has qualified for two-straight NCAA Tournaments, achieved a 46-23 overall record and posted back-to-back 11-win conference seasons in Mann’s two years as an assistant.
In 2012-13, Iowa State advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, reeled off a 22-game homecourt winning streak, tying for the second-best string in school history, and led the nation in 3-pointers per game at 9.9.
The Cyclones, led by four all-conference players, were one of the most exciting teams in college basketball in 2012-13. ISU averaged 79.4 points per game, ranking third nationally and leading all “power-six” conference schools in scoring.
In Mann’s first season (2011-12), Iowa State qualified for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005, recorded 23 wins and tied for the third in the Big 12 Conference with a 12-6 mark. Iowa State’s 12 conference wins is the third-best total in school history. The Cyclones made the most of their NCAA Tournament appearance, defeating defending national champion Connecticut before losing to No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Kentucky.
With Mann on board, Iowa State appeared in the Associated Press’ Top-25 poll for the first time since 2005 and defeated two top-10 teams (Kansas and Baylor) in 2012. The Cyclones also had four players earn all-conference recognition, including Royce White, who was All-Big 12 First-Team, honorable mention All-American and the Basketball Times’ National Newcomer of the Year. White was the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
In his two years at Iowa State, Mann has helped tutor seven all-conference players and mentored back-to-back Big 12 Newcomer of the Year recipients (2012-White; 2013-Will Clyburn).
Coach Hoiberg appointed Mann as the lead defensive coach at Iowa State which fits well with his high energy and style over substance approach. Mann believes in hard work and holding players accountable on the court and in the classroom.
In his short time in Ames, Mann has already brought with him the Michigan pipeline, having recruited four players from his home state. Percy Gibson (Detroit Southeastern) has appeared in 60 games in his two-year career. He was considered the top post player in Michigan in the Class of 2011 and was named to the Detroit Free Press’ Six-Player Dream Team as a senior after averaging 21.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
Sherron Dorsey-Walker (Detroit Pershing), who redshirted his first season at ISU, was rated No. 125 in the Rivals.com rankings and listed as the second-best player out of Michigan in the Class of 2012. Monte Morris (Flint Beecher), an incoming freshman, is one of Mann’s prize recruits. Morris was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2013 and was a consensus top-100 national recruit in the class of 2013.
With three of ISU’s top four scorers in school history hailing from Michigan (Jeff Grayer, Barry Stevens and Victor Alexander), Coach Mann has been instrumental in tapping back into that fertile recruiting ground.
Mann has 12 years of experience as an assistant coach at the Division I level and has qualified for NCAA Tournament play at all four of his assistant coaching stops.
Prior to his arrival at Iowa State, Mann spent three years at Dayton where he helped lead the Flyers to three-straight postseason berths.
In Mann’s first season at Dayton (2008-09), the Flyers were ranked in the top-25, finished the season with the second-most victories in school history (27) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Dayton defeated West Virginia in the first round.
The Flyers were 25-12 and won the 2010 NIT Championship in Mann’s second season and UD went 22-14 and advanced to the finals of the Atlantic-10 Tournament in 2010-11. UD made the 2011 NIT and had three players earn all-conference recognition.
Prior to his stint at UD, Mann coached at Western Michigan for five seasons, helping the Broncos win three Mid-American Conference West Division championships. The Broncos made the NCAA in 2004 and the NIT in 2005, and helped recruit and tutor five guards who earned All-Mac accolades, including the school’s all-time scoring leader David Kool. The last three players to score 1,000 points at WMU were recruited by Mann, as well as the school’s all-time assists leader.
Mann was an assistant at Central Michigan for two seasons before his tenure at WMU, as the Chippewas advanced to the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament before falling to Duke.
Prior to his arrival at CMU, Mann spent two seasons as the head coach at Oak Park High School in the Detroit area. He also was an assistant coach with the Michigan Mustangs, one of the top AAU programs in Michigan.
Along with the dozens of players who have earned college accolades and recognition, four of Mann’s former players have went on to play in the NBA: Chris Johnson, Chris Wright (Dayton), Chris Kaman (Central Michigan) and Royce White. Still, the number that Coach Mann takes most pride in is the number of players coached that have went on to earn their college degree.
Mann played one season at Colorado before transferring to Akron, where competed three seasons for the Zips, earning the program’s top defensive player and ranking among the league leader in steals. He earned his degree from Akron in 1995. He has two children: Maliq (12) and Cyncere (9).