Trump to give Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz

Trump to give Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz
© Getty

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE announced Friday he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz.

Trump called Holtz, who coached a number of college and professional football teams, an “incredible leader,” and said he received recommendations to give him the commendation from several other high-profile football figures.

“I’ve known him for a long time, he’s been a friend of mine. I think I’ve received letters from every football coach almost in the nation. That’s a little exaggeration, but some of the greats. Nick Saban wrote a letter. Coach [Ed Orgeron] … Urban Meyer wrote a beautiful letter, and so many of the other great, legendary coaches," he said at a press conference. "Not only coaches though, people in sports and people in life and even great political people recommending Lou for the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve analyzed it very closely, we’ve looked at all of those recommendations, we’ve looked at Lou’s life and his career and what he’s done for charity. And the football is obvious, he was a great coach, but what he’s done beyond even coaching. So Lou will be getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” he added, saying the date for the award ceremony “won’t be in the too distant future.”

Trump has granted the prestigious award to a number of sports figures throughout his tenure, including Jerry West, Mariano Rivera and more.

Holtz has a long and storied career coaching football and is the only college football coach to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to bring four different programs to the final top 20 rankings.

ADVERTISEMENT

Holtz, now 83, led the 1988 Notre Dame football team, which went 12-0 that year, won the Fiesta Bowl and was the consensus national champion. He oversaw several other college programs and coached the 1976 New York Jets.

He later joined ESPN as a college football analyst in 2005 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Holtz spoke at last week’s Republican National Convention, calling Trump “a consistent winner” and “an outstanding leader.” 

“In President Trump, we have a president we can trust, who works hard at making America greater, and who genuinely cares about people,” he said.