US President Donald Trump will present the President’s Medal of Freedom to famed football coach Lou Leo Holtz on Thursday. This is the highest civilian award in the United States, awarded for a special contribution to the security or national interests of the country, to the cause of world peace, or to cultural and other social endeavors.
As noted in a statement from the White House press service, Holtz is not only an outstanding coach, but also a philanthropist, writer and a true American patriot.
Holtz grew up in a small town in West Virginia and attended the University of Kent, the first of his family to go to college. At university, he studied history, played American football, and joined the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, where he then served as an officer for seven years. After graduating, Holtz embarked on a coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, after which, after becoming head coach at the College of William and Mary, led his team to victory in the Southern Conference Championship. For the next 35 years, Lu successfully led student and professional soccer teams, inspiring generations of young athletes. The coach achieved particular success with the team of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
After completing his coaching career, Lou Holtz has written several books and worked as a sports analyst for ESPN and CBS, and also founded two charities. Several universities have awarded him honorary doctorates and inducted into their Sports Halls of Fame.