Trump to award highest civilian honor to Lou Holtz on Thursday

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President Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to famed Notre Dame college football coach Lou Holtz on Thursday, the White House announced.

Holtz retired from coaching in 2004 and is a prominent supporter of the president; he spoke at the Republican National Convention in August and described Trump as an “outstanding leader.”

Trump said in September that he intended to award the Medal of Freedom, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor, to Holtz.

Holtz coached for 33 seasons at a number of colleges, including Notre Dame, North Carolina State and the University of Arkansas. He also spent one season in the NFL coaching the New York Jets.

Holtz’s team at Notre Dame won the national championship in 1988 after an undefeated season. 

“America recognizes Lou Holtz as one of the greatest football coaches of all time for his unmatched accomplishments on the gridiron, but he is also a philanthropist, author, and true American patriot,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

The White House did not offer specific details on the event Thursday. Past medal ceremonies have taken place inside the White House with an audience comprised of administration officials, guests of the honoree and others.

Holtz said in an interview with ABC Columbia on Nov. 19 — two weeks from Thursday — that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was recovering. The White House normally tests individuals who come into close contact with Trump or Vice President Pence beforehand.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 13.7 million Americans and killed more than 270,000, has not stopped the White House from holding events with large groups. The White House began hosting annual holiday parties this week to mark Christmas and Hanukkah despite the surging cases across the country, though officials said steps are being taken to ensure the safety of attendees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday shortened its recommended quarantine period from 14 days to seven days with a negative test result and 10 days without one if individuals do not have symptoms. 

Tags Donald Trump Lou Holtz Mike Pence Notre Dame Presidential Medal of Freedom South Carolina

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