Legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz thanked President Donald Trump for awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday.
“I want to assure you how proud I am, not only to receive the award. I’m even prouder to receive it from President Donald Trump, who I think was the greatest president during my lifetime,” he said to applause from the crowd.
Holtz, age 83, smiled as Trump told his story at the ceremony that was held at the White House in the Oval Office.
Holtz grew up in poverty in West Virginia and listened to Notre Dame football with family members on the radio.
The president also noted Holtz’s great success as a coach for the football teams of William and Mary, North Carolina State, University of Arkansas, and University of Minnesota, before ultimately coaching at the University of Notre Dame.
At Notre Dame, Holtz coached eleven seasons where he won a national championship in 1988 and had a winning record of 100-30-2.
“He’s one of the greatest titans in American football history,” Trump said, adding that “wherever Lou went, football greatness followed.”
The president also celebrated Holtz’s philanthropic donations for students and insulin pumps for diabetic children.
Holtz thanked the president for the award, adding that he was humbled by the honor.
“This award, as great as it is, does not define who Lou Holtz is,” Holtz said. “My beautiful family, my precious wife, my friends, you have determined who I am.”