Ali Haji-Sheikh

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Ali Haji-Sheikh
No. 6
Position: Kicker
Personal information
Born: (1961-01-11) January 11, 1961 (age 56)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 172 lb (78 kg)
Career information
High school: Arlington (TX)
College: Michigan
NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 9 / Pick: 237
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
FG / Attempts: 76 / 111
Field goal %: 68.5
PAT / Attempts: 95 / 103
PAT %: 92.2
Long: 56
Career points: 323
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Ali S. Haji-Sheikh (born January 11, 1961) is a former American football kicker. He played college football at Michigan. He was drafted in the ninth round (237th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins.

While at Michigan, Haji-Sheikh set a Big Ten record with 78 consecutive extra points, and he broke the NFL record for the most field goals in a season, as a rookie during the 1983 NFL season.

Early years[edit]

Haji-Sheikh was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Texas.[1][2] He is the son of Abdolhossein Haji-Sheikh, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington who is originally from Iran.[3][4] His father coached him in soccer and football.[3] Haji-Sheikh attended Arlington High School where he also played wide receiver and defensive back.[3]

College career[edit]

Haji-Sheikh attended the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1982 as a placekicker for the Wolverines, and in 1986 earned a Bachelor of science in geology.[2] While attending Michigan, he set a Big Ten record by successfully converting 76 consecutive extra points.[5] He also set the school records for career extra points (117) and field goals (31).[5]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Field goals Extra points Points
Year Team GP FA FM FG% Blk. Lng XPA XPM XP% Blk. Pnt.
1979 MICH 12 6 0 0.0% -- 0 4 4 100% 0 4
1980 MICH 12 17 11 64.7% -- -- 40 37 92.5% 3 70
1981 MICH -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
1982 MICH 12 15 12 80.0% -- -- 41 41 100% 0 77
Career 36 38 23 60.5% -- -- 85 82 96.5% 3 151

Professional career[edit]

Haji-Sheikh was selected by the New York Giants in the ninth round (237th overall pick) of the 1983 NFL Draft.[1] He spent three seasons playing for the Giants. As a rookie in 1983 he was successful in 35-of-42 field goal attempts (83%).[1] His 35 field goals in 1983 broke Jim Turner's NFL record for field goals in a season.[3] Haji-Sheikh's record stood until 1996.[6] A recurring hamstring injury hampered the rest of his career.

In 1986, Haji-Sheikh joined the Atlanta Falcons after three seasons with the Giants. He appeared in six games for the Falcons, was successful on 9-of-12 field goal attempts, and converted 7-of-8 extra points.[1]

Haji-Sheikh was released by the Falcons in late August 1987.[7] In mid-September 1987, he signed with the Washington Redskins after an injury to the Redskins' regular placekicker Jess Atkinson.[8] He appeared in 11 games for the Redskins during the 1987 season, was successful on 13-of-19 field goal attempts, and converted 29-of-32 extra points.[1] He won his only career Super Bowl that season, kicking six extra points and missing one field goal in Super Bowl XXII. He appeared in the 1984 Pro Bowl kicking one field goal and adding six extra points. He finished his career with 76-of-111 field goals (68%) and 95-of-103 extra points, scoring 323 total points.

Career statistics[edit]

Season Field goals Extra points Points
Year Team GP FA FM FG% Blk. Lng XPA XPM XP% Blk. Pnt.
1983 NYG 16 42 35 83.3% -- 56 23 22 95.7% 1 127
1984 NYG 16 33 17 51.5% -- 48 35 32 91.4% 3 83
1985 NYG 2 5 2 40.0% -- 52 5 5 100% 0 11
1986 ATL 6 12 9 75.0% -- 47 8 7 87.5% 1 34
1987 WASH 11 19 13 68.4% -- 41 32 29 90.6% 3 68
Career 51 111 76 68.5% -- 56 103 95 92.2% 8 323

Personal life and later years[edit]

In 1984, Haji-Sheikh married Detroit native and fellow University of Michigan graduate Michele Blondin. As of 2016, the couple have five children. He now works in the luxury car business in Birmingham, Michigan, coaches travel soccer with Magic Soccer and trains upcoming kickers via his business Haji-Sheikh Kicking.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Ali Haji-Sheikh". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Contacts". The Dream Project. Retrieved September 14, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Heika, Mike (August 26, 2006). "Arlington-ex getting kids off on the right foot as youth coach". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Texas. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Faculty Profile: Dr. Abdolhossein Haji-Sheikh". Arlington, Texas: University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Haji-Sheikh puts best foot forward". The Michigan Daily. September 29, 1983. p. 11. 
  6. ^ "NFL Single-Season Total Field Goals Made Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Falcons Cut Haji-Sheikh". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 27, 1987. p. 6C. 
  8. ^ "Redskins sign Laufenberg, Haji-Sheikh". The Free Lance-Star. September 15, 1987. p. 9.