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New Orleans -- The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference has announced Xavier University of Louisiana as the recipient of the 2018 Thomas Howell Cup. Xavier claimed the GCAC's highest prize for the the second consecutive year, and for the 7th time overall.gcac2015 logo

Capitalizing on a banner year for 'Team Gold,' Xavier's men's and women's teams won two regular season titles (volleyball, and a share of the men's basketball titles), and three GCAC championships in women's cross-country, women's track & field and volleyball. They were also named runners-up in men's cross-country and men's track & field.

Edward Waters (Fla.) College again placed second in the Howell Cup scoring, further cementing their position as a program on the rise. The Tigers claimed titles in both men's track & field and men's cross-country, as well as a 2nd-place regular season finish in women's basketball. The Tigers have yet to win a Howell Cup since joining the GCAC in 2010.

GCAC Commissioner Steve Martin praised Xavier University's leadership in awarding the honor.

"Xavier's commitment to its student-athletes is evident in their overall success this year," said Martin. "The growth of their programs, especially men's basketball under Head Coach Alfred Williams and men's track & field under Head Coach Joseph Moses, speaks to their investment in student-athlete success. I'd also like to recognize Director [Jason] Horn, Assistant Athletic Directors [Ashley] Baker and [Ed] Cassiere, as well as coaches [Pat] Kendrick, [Bo] Browder and [Alan] Green for their hard work, as well."

GCAC President Nate Cochran also spoke highly of the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets.

"We are extremely proud of the Xavier University program and how they represent the GCAC and NAIA" said Cochran. "Their athletic accomplishments are what the Howell Cup is all about."

Awarded annually, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's Howell Cup--named after the GCAC's first commissioner, Dr. Thomas Howell--is given to the athletic program with the greatest success cross all fields of competition. Points are awarded based on regular season standings in championship sports only. Howell served as the commissioner of the GCAC for more than three decades.

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