Cornell Mann enters his fifth 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 a school-record four-straight NCAA Tournaments, achieved a 99-40 overall record and posted 11-win conference seasons in each of Mann's seasons as an assistant.
In 2014-15, Iowa State went 25-9 and finished second in the Big 12 with a 12-6 record. The Cyclones won their second consecutive Big 12 Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. ISU, which has been ranked in a school-record 37 consecutive polls, was ranked as high as No. 9 in the Associated Press top-25. Georges Niang became the fourth player to earn All-America honors since Mann's arrival at Iowa State, while Niang, Monté Morris and Jameel McKay earned All-Big 12 honors. McKay was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, giving ISU an individual award winner for the fourth consecutive season.
Morris, a Mann recruit, has been one of the nation's best point guards in his two seasons at Iowa State. Morris was a Cousy Award Finalist in 2014-15 after leading the NCAA for the second time in as many seasons with a 4.63 assist-to-turnover ratio. As a freshman, Morris broke the NCAA record with a 4.79 assist-to-turnover ratio. Morris was an All-Big 12 Second-Team pick after leading the Big 12 with 5.2 assists per game.
The Cyclones led the Big 12 in scoring (77.8) for the third season in a row, while dropping in a league-high 7.7 three-pointers per game. Iowa State beat nine ranked teams, giving it a nation's best 18 wins against ranked foes in the last two seasons. The Cyclones posted a 21-game homecourt winning streak in 2014-15 and have a 62-5 mark at home in the last four seasons.
The 2013-14 season was one of the best in school history, with Iowa State finishing 28-8, advancing to the Sweet 16 and winning the Big 12 Tournament and Diamond Head Classic. The Cyclones defeated a school-record nine teams in the Associated Press top-25 and had two players, Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane, earn All-America honors. Ejim was named the Big 12 Player of the Year, while Kane took home honors as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player. Niang was an All-Big 12 Third-Team selection in his sophomore campaign.
The 2013-14 ISU team averaged 83.0 points per game, ranking fifth nationally and leading all “power” conference schools in scoring. ISU led the nation in assists per game (18.4) and were second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74).
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.
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 four years at Iowa State, Mann has helped tutor 11 all-conference players and mentored the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year (Ejim) as well as the three Big 12 Newcomer of the Year recipients (2012-White; 2013-Will Clyburn; 2014-Kane) and the 2015 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (McKay).
Coach Hoiberg appointed Mann as the lead defensive coach at Iowa State which fits well with his high energy and substance over style approach. Mann believes in hard work and holding players accountable on the court and in the classroom.
Mann, who is the only full-time assistant to be on Hoiberg's staff in the last four record-setting seasons, has added to the Michigan-to-Iowa State pipeline. He recruited Morris (Flint Beecher), who has dished out 310 dimes and swiped 110 steals in two seasons 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 14 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. He has won five championships at four different schools and has averaged better than 20 wins as an assistant coach.
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, five of Mann’s former players have went on to play in the NBA: Chris Johnson, Chris Wright (Dayton), Chris Kaman (Central Michigan), Royce White and Chris Babb. 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 he competed for three seasons for the Zips, earning the program’s top defensive player and ranking among the league leaders in steals. He earned his degree from Akron in 1995. He has two children: Maliq (12) and Cyncere (10).