President Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lou Holtz

FILE - Former football coach Lou Holtz arrives for a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on September 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Trump will honor legendary college football coach Lou Holtz with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday.

Holtz said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” he was “humbled” to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“It’s the highest honor or award you could possibly receive and I receive it with mixed emotions. First of all, I’m humbled,” Holtz told host Brian Kilmeade. “There are many more people far worthy than me I can assure you. Nobody is more appreciative than me. So, I’m excited to have this opportunity and at the same time, I’m excited to receive it from President Trump. The president I admire and respect. I think he did a tremendous job."

He continued: “I’m sad he’s not going to be with us for another four years because he has done so much for this country and he really cares about it so I stand here very proudly to accept this award from President Trump.”

The 83-year-old was a member of Kent State University’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and served as a Field Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve before getting into football.

Holtz is an unabashed Trump supporter who spoke at the Republican National Convention in August, declaring the president a consistent winner and an outstanding leader who deserved to be reelected. He told Kilmeade he would like to see another four years of Trump despite the incumbent losing the election.

“I think we need him,” said Holtz, who was also battling the coronavirus last month. “It’s unbelievable what he went through for four years overall. The mischaracterization about Russia, Russia, Russia and the impeachment, etc. I mean he fought it for four years and what he did for this country was fantastic. He the COVID hurt the economy there’s no doubt about it but what he did was nothing short of amazing and I think he would definitely go down as one of the great presidents in my lifetime.”

A former national championship head football coach at Arkansas and Notre Dame, Holtz coached college football for 33 years. He was the head coach of the Fighting Irish for 11 seasons from 1986-1996, where he finished with a 110-30-2 record. In 1988, Notre Dame finished with a perfect 12-0 record and claimed the Fiesta Bowl -- their last national championship.

The Fighting Irish ended up as the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25.

He also had a brief stint in the NFL with the New York Jets.

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