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Trump to present Holtz with Presidential Medal of Freedom

| Friday, September 4, 2020

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz will be the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian, U.S. President Donald Trump announced Friday at a White House press briefing.

Trump chose to honor Holtz for his work both on and off the field, commenting on his charity and time as an “incredible leader,” according to the South Bend Tribune. Holtz worked with the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, the Women’s Care Foundation and Catholic Charities among other organizations, vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne said in an email to the press.

During the briefing, Trump said he received many recommendations on Holtz’s behalf and reviewed them thoroughly.

“There’s a man that’s an incredible leader, Lou Holtz. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s been a friend of mine,” Trump said Friday, as per a CNN report.

A date for the ceremony has not been set.

The announcement follows Holtz’s virtual speech at the Republican National Convention, which sparked various reactions from the Notre Dame community. The speech prompted University President Fr. John Jenkins to release a statement distancing Notre Dame from Holtz’s political views.

Though the University does not endorse his politics, the institution wishes to congratulate Holtz on the award, Browne said.

“At Notre Dame, he and his late wife, Beth, served as research ambassadors, and the players he molded have added to his legacy through their own contributions through the Lou’s Lads Foundation,” Browne said. “We presented Lou with an honorary degree in 2011 for his service on and off the field to Notre Dame and beyond, and we join now with his family and many friends in offering our sincere congratulations on this honor.”

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