Holtz Receives Medal of Freedom

Benedictine College Congratulates Lou Holtz on Medal of Freedom

Friday, December 4, 2020

Lou Holtz

ATCHISON, KAN. – (Dec. 4, 2020) Benedictine College congratulated Lou Holtz today after he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Donald Trump in a White House ceremony on Dec. 3. The famed coach, broadcaster, author and motivational speaker was honored with the prestigious award for his contributions to society. Holtz has been a Commencement speaker and an Academic Convocation speaker at Benedictine and has a long, friendly relationship with the Midwest Liberal Arts college.

“Lou Holtz is tremendously deserving of the nation’s highest civilian honor,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “He represents values like hard work, ethical behavior, and a focus on the important things in life.”

Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. It is awarded by the president of the United States to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

In addition to his speaking appearances at Benedictine, Holtz received an honorary degree from the college in 2007 and he and his late wife, Beth, were honored with the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict in 2012. The couple endowed a scholarship at the college and were among the first donors to the construction of Mary’s Grotto in the center of campus.

Lou Holtz at the 2012 Benedictine College Convocation

Holtz is probably best known for coaching the University of Notre Dame to a national championship, but he has taken four different programs to top 20 finishes, guided teams to 22 postseason bowl games and been named national coach of the year. He inherited six losing programs and turned them all into winners. His philosophy, he discovered, not only translated into winning football teams, but also other areas of life and even the workplace.

Since his coaching days, Holtz has been a television analyst for CBS Sports and the ESPN cable network and is the author of six books. In his autobiography, Wins, Losses, and Lessons, he details his “Do Right Rule” along with his life story. In 2019, Holtz condensed his philosophy on making young people strong, moral citizens into his latest book, Three Rules for Living a Good Life: A Game Plan for after Graduation. For him, the best way to give direction and achieve goals comes down to three simple rules: Do It Right, Do Your Best, and Care About Others. His vision not only translates into winning coaching strategies, but also effective business management and successful parenting.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named in the Top 10 in the Midwest of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.