President Donald Trump announced recently that he’ll be presenting legendary former college football coach Lou Holtz with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The 83-year-old Holtz, a vocal supporter of President Trump, spoke during the recent Republican National Convention. On Friday, Trump said he’s known the national champion coach a “long time” and planned to bestow him with the nation’s highest civilian honor soon.
“We’ve analyzed it very closely. We’ve looked at all those recommendations. We’ve looked at Lou’s life and his career and what he’s done for charity, and the football is obvious,” Trump said. “He was a great coach, but what he’s done beyond even coaching, so Lou will be getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
On Saturday, Notre Dame released an official statement on Trump’s decision to pay tribute to Holtz.
“Lou Holtz is among America’s greatest college football coaches, leading Notre Dame to a national championship in 1988. But his contributions off the field have been equally inspiring, bringing attention and support to his hometown, alma mater, Catholic Charities, the Women’s Care Foundation, the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, and other worthy organizations through his charitable foundation.
“At Notre Dame, he and his late wife, Beth, served as research ambassadors, and the players he molded have added to his legacy through their own contributions through the Lou’s Lads Foundation. We presented Lou with an honorary degree in 2011 for his service on and off the field to Notre Dame and beyond, and we join now with his family and many friends in offering our sincere congratulations on this honor.”
Holtz served as a college football head coach for 33 seasons at six different programs: William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina. He also had a brief stint as head coach of the NFL’s New York Jets.
Holtz compiled an overall record of 249-132-7 coaching in college, winning the 1977 and 1988 national championships at Arkansas and Notre Dame.
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