FHSU football player killed in New Year’s Day shooting remembered as much more than star athlete

Daniel Howard was shot and killed outside an Oklahoma nightclub over the New Year's Eve weekend.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:20 PM CST
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HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) - Approaching a week since 22-year-old Daniel Howard was shot and killed outside a bar in Oklahoma City, teammates and coaches with the Fort Hays State University football program, are remembering Howard as more than an athlete. The team is also hoping to help Howard’s family.

Howard was a junior defensive back for the Tigers. He transferred to Fort Hays State from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. It’s a move FHSU Head Football Coach Chris Brown said he’s thankful Howard made.

“When he decided to come to Fort Hays, we were very, very excited about him,” Brown said. “Not just because of his athletic ability, but also the things he was going to bring to our team and the leadership he would bring to our team as well.”

Brown said Howard displayed that leadership on and off the field.

“He was a young man that truly cared about people themselves,” Brown said. “I mean, how many times do you hear about a player that comes up to a coach and asks, ‘how are you doing,’ and really means it? You could see him growing daily: as a player, as a person, as a father himself.”

Working closely with Howard, FHSU defensive backs and special teams coach Steven Dudley said it was obvious how much family meant to him.

“He was someone who, graduating and getting his degree was a big motivation. He wanted the opportunity to pursue football at the professional level because he wanted to take care of his family and take care of his young son,” Dudley said.

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help Howard’ family with funeral costs, allowing bereavement days for his parents and setting aside a college fund for his son. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign raised more than $6,000 of the $15,000 goal.