Holtz has successfully led professional and student American soccer teams for 35 years.
On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the famous soccer coach Lou Leo Holtz. It is the highest civilian distinction in the U.S., awarded for special contributions to security or national interests, to world peace, or to cultural and other social causes.
As the White House press office said in a statement, Holtz is not only an outstanding coach but also a philanthropist, writer and true American patriot.
Holtz grew up in a small town in West Virginia and studied at Kent University, the first of his family to go to college. At the university, he studied history, played American soccer, and joined the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, where he then served as an officer for seven years. After completing his degree, Holtz began a coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, after which, after becoming a head coach at the College of William and Mary, he led his team to victory in the championship’s Southern Conference. Over the next 35 years, Lou has successfully led student and professional soccer teams, inspiring generations of young athletes. The coach was particularly successful with the University of Notre Dame team in Indiana.
After completing his coaching career, Lou Holtz wrote several books and worked as a sports analyst on ESPN and CBS TV channels, and founded two charities. Several universities awarded him an honorary doctorate and included him in their sport halls of fame.