Howard becomes first Marquette student-athlete to win Senior CLASS Award


Photo by Jordan Johnson

Markus Howard poses with his mother on Senior Day Feb. 29.

Over Markus Howard’s career, he has accumulated numerous awards, from the 2019 unanimous BIG EAST Player of the Year to an Associated Press and Consensus First Team All-American. But Howard was given one of the most prestigious awards of his career March 31 when he was named the 2019-20 Senior CLASS Award winner for NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

Marquette senior outside hitter Allie Barber was named a finalist in the fall for the volleyball award, but Howard is the first Golden Eagle in any sport to win the award.

“Markus Howard has spent four years demonstrating how he embodies all elements of the Senior CLASS Award,” Erik Miner, executive director of the Senior CLASS Award, said in a statement. “From his dynamic performances on the basketball court to his impact within the community, Markus has excelled in becoming an exquisite role model and inspiration for those following in his footsteps.”

Howard ended this season as the nation’s leading scorer, averaging 27.8 points per game and finishing his college career as Marquette’s all-time leading scorer with 2,761 points. The Chandler, Arizona, native is also tied for seventh place in NCAA history with 434 career 3-pointers.

The award is vote-based, and those who participate include nationwide D-I men’s basketball coaches, media members and fans. It honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four aspects of their lives: community, classroom, character and competition.

The acronym stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, and the program strives to honor college seniors who are committed to their university and use all four years of their athletic eligibility, while also recognizing the rewards their final season may bring.

The senior guard has thrived off of the court, earning academic All-BIG EAST honors and co-founding a chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Marquette. He has recorded more than 100 hours of community service working with programs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Wisconsin and Boys & Girls Club.

The 5-foot-11 guard has also publicly shared his struggles with balancing sports and academics, and has spent time spreading awareness of mental health.

“Markus is, and will continue to be, a tremendous ambassador for Marquette University,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said in a statement. “Markus maximized his voice as a student-athlete as well as anyone I have ever seen and as a result, he has been able to make a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.”

“I am extremely grateful to receive the Senior CLASS Award and want to thank everyone who was involved in the decision, especially our tremendous fans, who were so supportive during the voting process,” Howard said in a statement. “One of my goals when I arrived on campus was to have an impact on our community beyond basketball and the resources provided by the Marquette family allowed me to accomplish that goal and I am sincerely appreciative of the opportunity.”

This story was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.