White House

Trump to award Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz

Holtz has been a vocal Trump supporter and has long been affiliated with Republican politics.

President Donald Trump, left, introduces former college football coach Lou Holtz during a campaign stop at the Butler County Regional Airport in Butler, Pa.

President Donald Trump will award former football coach Lou Holtz the nation’s highest civilian award this week, the White House announced Wednesday.

Holtz is best known for winning a national championship at Notre Dame in the 1988 season — the most recent in the school’s history — and his long subsequent career working as a college football analyst on TV. He was inducted to the college football hall of fame in 2008.

Holtz has been a vocal Trump supporter and has long been affiliated with Republican politics, including flirting with a congressional run in 2009.

Holtz spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention, where he denigrated the faith of now-President-elect Joe Biden and other politicians as “Catholics in name only” for their position on abortion. Holtz’s rhetoric drew an admonishment from Notre Dame’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, who said “we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith.”

Trump will bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, according to the White House. The president has shown a fondness for awarding the honor to high profile backers like conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson’s wife, Miriam, as well as sports figures like golf legend Tiger Woods, Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach and basketball great Bob Cousy, among others. Trump has also awarded a posthumous medal of freedom to baseball icon Babe Ruth.

Holtz, 83, tested positive for Covid-19 in November.

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