Coaching Awards

Commentary by William Southworth, Redlands University

With age comes growing respect, and appreciation for those individuals who have devoted so much time and effort into making the forensic community a more enjoyable and productive experience for so many students. The first annual award for forensic contributors was initiated by the NDT Board of Trustees in 1996. The 50th NDT at Wake Forest was a festive event with many NDT alumni returning to see how the activity, that had so influenced their lives, had evolved. The Lucy Keel Award in honor of the former Director of Debate at CSU Fullerton and member of the Board of Trustees for many years, was created to recognize outstanding service to the Debate Community, the previous recipients have been:


1996 Donn Parson, University of Kansas
1997 Brett O’Donnell, Liberty University
1998 Melissa Wade & Bill Newnam, Emory University
1999 George Ziegelmueller, Wayne State University
2000 Bill Balthrop, University of North Carolina
2001 Rich Edwards, Baylor University
2002 Pat Ganer, Cypress College
2003 Frank Harrison, Trinity University
2004 Will Baker, New York University
2005 Allan Louden, Wake Forest University
2006 David Zarefsky, Northwestern University
2007 – Stefan Bauschard, Lakeland Schools, NY
2008 – Bill Southworth, University of Redlands
2009 – Jon Bruschke, Cal State Fullerton
2010 – Jim Hanson and Aaron Hardy, Whitman College
2011 – Dallas Perkins, Harvard University
2012 – Gary Larson, Wheaton College
2013 – Tim ODonnell, Mary Washington University
2014 – Sarah T Partlow Lefevre, Idaho State University

A second award was initiated at the 1999 NDT. Wayne State Alumni endowed an award in honor of their coach, George Ziegelmueller, for his over 30 years of excellent coaching, timeless commitment to the activity and numerous contributions to the forensics community—not the least of which was saving the NDT in 1966. Appropriately enough it is called The George Ziegelmueller Award and is presented to a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the NDT. Justifiably, George was himself the first recipient, others who have followed include:


1999 George Ziegelmueller, Wayne State University
2000 Allan Louden, Wake Forest University
2001 Chester Gibson, State University of West Georgia ; Ken Strange, Dartmouth College
2002 Herb James, Dartmouth College; Karla Leeper, Baylor University
2003 Donn Parson, University of Kansas ; Tuna Snider, University of Vermont
2004 Cate Palczewski, University of Northern Iowa
2005 William Southworth, University of Redlands
2006 Scott Harris, University of Kansas
2007 – Scott Deatherage, Northwestern University
2008 – Sarah T Partlow Lefevre, Idaho State University
2009 – Ross Smith, Wake Forest University
2010 – Tim O’Donnell, University of Mary Washington
2011 – Gordon Stables, University of Southern California
2012 – Glen Frappier, Gonzaga
2013 – Ryan Galloway, Samford University
2014 – Mike Davis – James Madison University

In 1999, a West Georgia Alumni endowed an award to be presented to the Coach of the Winning Team at the NDT. The Ovid Davis Award has not been permanently engraved with Scott Deatherage’s name on it, but as the following recipient list might suggest it well could be:


1999 Scott Deatherage, Northwestern University
2000 Melissa Wade, Emory University
2001 David Hingstman, University of Iowa
2002 Scott Deatherage, Northwestern University
2003 Scott Deatherage, Northwestern University
2004 Mike Eber, Michigan State University
2005 Scott Deatherage, Northwestern University
2006, Mike Eber, Michigan State University
2007 – Bill Newman, Emory University
2008 – Ross Smith, Wake Forest University
2009 – Scott Harris, University of Kansas
2010 – Greta Stahl, Michigan State
2011 – Dan Fitzmyer, Northwestern
2012 – Jonathan Paul , Georgetown
2013 – Sam Maurer, Emporia State
2014 – Jonathan Paul, Georgetown Uinversity

It is unfortunate that such recognition was not available to earlier coaches who devoted their lives to the activity. Most institutions with a long and rich tradition in debate do remember the early giants on their own campus. At Redlands we present annually the E.R. Nichols Award to the outstanding debater at the Graduation Honors Convocation. E.R. Nichols coached at Redland from 1913 to 1952 he helped form the NDT and was the first to coach back to back winners of the NDT. As we recognize the worthy contributions of the above recipients let us never forget the equally compelling sacrifices of coaches like Martin Holcomb of Augustana, Robert Huber of Vermont, Annabel Hagood of Alabama, Alan Nichols of USC, Glenn Capp of Baylor and so many more. They paved the trail for the rest of us and for the most part did it on their own, long before they were able to assemble the huge budgets and coaching staffs that are now so common in collegiate debate. As the above lists grow, let us never forget those who made it all possible!

2009 the James Unger Award was established to recognize the coach of the top 1st round team/Copeland winner.


2009 – Daniel Fitzmier, Northwestern University
2010 – Ed Lee, Emory University
2011 – Ed Lee, Emory University
2012 – Daniel Fitzmier, NorthwesternUniversity
2013 – Jonathan Paul, Georgetown Uinversity
2014 – Daniel Fitzmier, NorthwesternUniversity