Donald Trump Awards Coaching Legend Lou Holtz with Presidential Medal of Freedom

by Chris Haney
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During President Donald Trump’s short White House briefing on Friday, he announced college football coaching legend Lou Holtz will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. The president awards the medal to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

“We’ve looked at Lou’s life and his career and what he’s done for charity and football is obvious,” said Trump in the briefing. “He was a great coach, but what he’s done beyond even coaching. So, Lou will be getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Holtz was in attendance at the White House for Trump’s briefing, but he did not speak.

Early Life and Coaching Career of Lou Holtz

Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Holtz was born in Follansbee, West Virginia, but grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio. He got into football at an early age, and played linebacker in college at Kent State University. Holtz graduated college in 1959, and not long after began his coaching career in 1960.

Holtz served as head coach at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina. The legendary coach won two national championships , one at Arkansas in 1977 and another with Notre Dame in 1988. He coached football for almost 45 years before retiring in 2004. Holtz finished his career with a 249-132-7 record as a college football head coach.

After coaching, Holtz continued his football career off the field as a broadcaster. He worked as a college football analyst for CBS Sports and for ESPN until 2015.

Holtz has been an adamant supporter of President Trump. The retired coach has spoken at Trump’s campaign events, and most recently at the Republican National Convention. The White House announced that Holtz will receive the award in the near future.