|Date of birth||January 11, 1961|
|Place of birth||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|NFL draft||1983 / Round: 9 / Pick: 237|
|1983–1985||New York Giants|
|Career highlights and awards|
PFW Golden Toe Award (1983)Super Bowl champion (XXII)
Ali S. Haji-Sheikh (born January 11, 1961) is a former American football player. He played college football as a placekicker for the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1982. He also played professional football as a placekicker in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants (1983–1985), Atlanta Falcons (1986) and Washington Redskins (1987). He set a Big Ten Conference record as a collegiate player with 78 consecutive extra point conversions, and he broke the NFL record for the most field goals kicked in a season during the 1983 NFL season.
Haji-Sheikh was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Texas. 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. His father coached him in soccer and football. Haji-Sheikh attended Arlington High School where he also played wide receiver and defensive back.
University of Michigan
Haji-Sheikh attended the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1983 and in 1986 earned a BS in Geology. While attending Michigan, he set a Big Ten Conference record by successfully converting 76 extra points in a row. He also set Michigan career records with 117 extra points and 31 field goals. His booming kickoffs frequently went through the end-zone, resulting in touchbacks.
Haji-Sheikh was selected by the New York Giants in the ninth round (237th overall pick) of the 1983 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons playing for the Giants. As a rookie in 1983 he was successful in 35 of 42 field goal attempts (83%). His 35 field goals in 1983 broke Jim Turner's NFL record for field goals in a season. Haji-Sheikh's record stood until 1996. A recurring hamstring injury hampered the rest of his career. He holds the Giants record for longest made field goal at 56 yards.
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 nine of 12 field goal attempts, and converted seven of eight extra points.
Haji-Sheikh was released by the Falcons in late August 1987. In mid-September 1987, he signed with the Washington Redskins after an injury to the Redskins' regular placekicker Jess Atkinson. He appeared in 11 games for the Redskins during the 1987 NFL season, was successful on 13 of 19 field goal attempts, and converted 29 of 32 extra points. He played for the Redskins' 1987 championship team, kicking six extra points and missing one field goal in Super Bowl XXII. He was also a member of the 1984 NFC Pro Bowl team kicking one field goal and adding six extra points in the game. Haji-Sheikh finished his career with 76 of 111 field goals (68%), and 95 of 103 extra points, giving him 323 total points.
Personal life and later years
In 1984, he married Detroit native and University of Michigan graduate Michele Blondin. As of 2011, the couple have five children, one of whom attends the University of Michigan and 2 anothers whom attends Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Haji-Sheikh now works in the luxury car business in Birmingham, Michigan.
- "Ali Haji-Sheikh". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Contacts". The Dream Project. Retrieved September 14, 2009.[dead link]
- 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.
- "Faculty Profile: Dr. Abdolhossein Haji-Sheikh". Arlington, Texas: University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "Haji-Sheikh puts best foot forward". The Michigan Daily. September 29, 1983. p. 11.
- "NFL Single-Season Total Field Goals Made Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Falcons Cut Haji-Sheikh". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 27, 1987. p. 6C.
- "Redskins sign Laufenberg, Haji-Sheikh". The Free Lance-Star. September 15, 1987. p. 9.