Coaching legend Lou Holtz receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

College Football coaching legend Lou Holtz has beat the coronavirus. He previously announced he was dealing with the virus. 

With the infectious virus out of the way, Holtz was recognized on Thursday at the White House in Washington, D.C. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald J. Trump. 

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz speaks during a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun and attended by President Donald Trump
Lou Holtz speaks during a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun and attended by President Donald Trump (Getty Images)

Besides Holtz and President Trump, others at this ceremony were Holtz’s family. In addition, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, Senator Lindsey Graham, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone were also in attendance. 

“Thank you,” Holtz said. “Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. I’m humbled by the various comments and the opportunity to receive this award. But I want to assure you how proud I am not only to receive the award; I’m even prouder to receive it from President Donald Trump, who I think was the greatest President during my lifetime. And the things you’ve done for this country have given people the opportunity. 

“As far as making money — I do have to correct one thing, Mr. President. You talk about making money. When I went to Notre Dame, they had a policy: The head football coach was not allowed to make more than the president of Notre Dame. The president of Notre Dame was a priest who took a vow of poverty. I made $95,000. I get this award; I accept it humbly. And you don’t go in life saying ‘I want to win this award.’ You just wake up one day and it happens. But this award, as great as it is, does not define who Lou Holtz is.” 

During the Republican National Convention, Holtz spoke up for Trump in a speech. Holtz also spoke at rallies for Trump.

The 83-year-old was a college football player at Kent State. Following his playing career, he went into coaching. 

He was a coach from 1960 through 1996. Then after some time away from the game, he returned to coaching in 1999, as the South Carolina Gamecocks head coach through 2004. 

Holtz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. As a head coach, Holtz won two National Championships in 1977 and 1988. 

He coached the Arkansas Razorbacks and Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the two National Championships. 

The Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded since 1963. Trump has now given out 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom awards in four years while his predecessor Barack Obama gave out a record-high 123 in eight years. 

Democrat Presidents Obama, Bill Clinton, and Republican President Ronald Reagan have given out more than 100 during their presidencies. 

This was just Trump’s fourth Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 2020. The other three include Jim Ryun, Rush Limbaugh, and Jack Keane. 

Holtz is the first sports recipient since Ryun, who was a former track and field competitor, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 24, 2020. Other sports recipients from Trump include Babe Ruth, Alan Page, Roger Staubach, Tiger Woods, Bob Cousey, Jerry West, Roger Penske, and Mariano Rivera.

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