President Donald Trump announced Friday night that he will be awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Notre Dame football head coach Lou Holtz.
Holtz is an ardent supporter of Trump, speaking on his behalf at the Republican National Convention last week.
Holtz, who was once a notable figure at one of the nation’s most recognizable Catholic institutions, used part of his speech to vilify Democratic nominee Joe Biden for being a Catholic who supports abortion choice.
“One of the important reasons he has my trust is because nobody is but a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump,” Holtz said. "The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump.”
According to the White House, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is a prestigious award given to “the Nation’s highest civilian honor. It is awarded by the President of the United States 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.”
Holtz’s coaching career spanned 44 years, 35 of them as a head coach. As a college head coach, he led William and Mary, North Carolina State, Minnesota, Arkansas, Notre Dame and South Carolina. He also briefly was the head coach of the New York Jets of the NFL.
After his tenure with South Carolina, Holtz was an analyst for ESPN. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.