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Conference News - Fri, Jun. 23, 2017

New Orleans – Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Commissioner Steve Martin today announced the recipient of the 2016-2017 Thomas Howell Cup, awarded annually to the athletic program that demonstrates excellence in its sports. Xavier University of Louisiana received this year's award, the institution's 6th time receiving the award in 7 years.

"The Howell has special and significant meaning to the GCAC," said Martin. "This year, Xavier truly embodied the principles of former Commissioner Howell—hard work, commitment and excellence in athletics. To that end, Xavier is very deserving of this distinction."

The Howell Cup, named for long-time GCAC Commissioner Thomas Howell, is presented annually to the athletic program with the greatest success across all fields of competition.  Points are awarded based on regular season standings in championship sports only.  The Thomas Howell Cup is named for the GCAC's first commissioner Dr. Thomas Howell, who served the conference for more than three decades. Xavier has received the award each year since 2011, with the exception of 2016, when Dillard University earned the distinction.

"This honor is another testament to Xavier's commitment to excellence, dedication and hard work not only in the classroom, but in everything we do and athletics is no exception," said Xavier University Vice President for Student Services, Dr. Joseph Byrd. "It is because of the vision of our president, Dr. Reynold Verret, our athletic director, Mr. Jason Horn, our coaches and especially our students that we are again recognized for greatness. We are pleased to be honored."

Former GCAC member-institution, the University of Mobile (Ala.) received the greatest number of Howell Cup awards at 18, earning the award each year from 1988 until 1999, then again in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

"Xavier is proud to take control of the Thomas Howell Cup once again," said Xavier Athletic Director Jason Horn. "Not only did our student-athletes and coaches have another outstanding year, we produced our largest group of graduates in the last 12 years. The athletics department strives daily to live up to our motto: 'Win. Grow. Graduate.' "

Receipt of the Howell Cup caps off a stellar year of awards and recognitions for Xavier's athletic program. Athletic Director Jason Horn was named 'Athletic Director of the Year' earlier in the month, while several Xavier student-athletes have been honored for excellence in athletics.