Notre Dame is distancing itself from Lou Holtz after the former coach was critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, calling him a “Catholic in name only,” during a speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.
Father John Jenkins, the school’s president, said that Holtz was speaking for himself.
“While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party,” Jenkins said in a statement.
Jenkins wasn’t defending Biden necessarily. But the attack on Biden’s faith was not something he would endorse.
“Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart,” Jenkins said. “In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love.”
Holtz coached Notre Dame for 11 seasons and won the 1988 national title. He also coached at South Carolina for six seasons afterwards and coached the Jets for one season. He’s been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.
“I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame, ‘If you did not show up, who would miss you and why?’” the 83-year-old Holtz said during his speech. “Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for president? I’m so glad he showed up.”