NEW ORLEANS — For the third consecutive year, Xavier University of Louisiana is the winner of the Thomas Howell Cup, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's all-sports award. XU scored its largest-ever winning margin, 14 points, and its most points, 46½, since 2003-04.
The Thomas Howell Cup, named for the GCAC's longtime commissioner, is awarded annually to the school with the most points based on order of finish in various sports. Xavier was boosted by GCAC championships in men's cross country, women's cross country, women's volleyball, women's basketball, men's basketball and women's outdoor track and field. Edward Waters was second with 32½ points, and SUNO was third with 31½.
It's the third time that Xavier has won the award. The athletics department finished in the top three each of the past nine seasons.
Xavier is the second school in GCAC history to win the all-sports award at least three consecutive times. Former member Mobile did it 12 consecutive years (1987-99), then won five straight in six years (2003-09; no Howell Cup awarded in 2005-06).
Xavier won the Howell Cup by 11½ points over runner-up SUNO in 2011-12 and by eight points over Edward Waters in 2010-11.
Xavier has won 46 conference/group team championships and earned 34 berths in NAIA national championships during the past seven seasons. Xavier suspended intercollegiate athletics in 2005-06 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In seven seasons since then, the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets have combined for 41 conference/group team championships and 31 berths in NAIA national championships.
Thomas Howell Cup winners
|School Year||Cup Winner||Points|
|2005-06||No cup awarded |
because of Hurricane Katrina
|1985-86||Louisiana College, |