President Donald Trump to award Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz
President Donald Trump will award legendary college football head coach Lou Holtz the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Wednesday.
The former Arkansas and South Carolina head coach enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. From 1977-83, the Razorbacks went 60-21-2. Arkansas considers the 1977 squad’s 11-1 mark and Orange Bowl win over No. 2 Oklahoma an unclaimed national championship. Holtz’s final head coaching job came with South Carolina. From 1999-2004, the Gamecocks went 33-37 under Holtz.
For many college football fans, Holtz is best known for his work at Notre Dame, where he coached the 1988 Irish national championship team and won 100 games in 11 seasons as Irish head coach. His overall record as a college football head coach is 249-132-7.
The 83-year-old is the only coach in the history of college football to take five different teams to a bowl game (his ’85 Minnesota team actually qualified as a sixth, though Holtz did not coach in the bowl game since he had accepted the Notre Dame job), win four bowl games with different teams — and have four different college teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll, according to Notre Dame.
Holtz was recently in the news for his positive COVID-19 test.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal are the highest civilian awards of the United States. Other sports figures to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this century include Muhammad Ali (2005), Roger Staubach (2019), Tiger Woods (2019) and Marianno Rivera (2019).