President Trump reportedly will honor Bill Belichick with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday.
The New England Patriots head coach will follow a long line of legendary sports figures who have received the honor, Politico reported, citing a White House official. The White House has yet to officially announce the honor and the Patriots have yet to comment on it.
Belichick’s claim to fame is winning six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots after he took the helm in 2000. Trump and Belichick’s relationship came into a clearer picture after Trump revealed that Belichick wrote to him before his election.
“Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media, and have come out beautifully – beautifully,” Trump told New Hampshire supporters when sharing Belichick’s message in 2016, via NBC Sports Boston. “You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow.”
Trump said this past August that he would phone Belichick for advice if he needed assistance in a military battle. The president also re-appointed Belichick to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition last month. It is the coach’s second term on the council.
Belichick is the son of a World War II veteran and grew up in Annapolis, Md. Steve Belichick coached college football for 34 years at Navy.
Recently, sports figures Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Babe Zaharias, Roger Staubach and Don Gable received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.