Debate Coach

Debate Coach

EP 15

Athens, GA

Male, 54

I have been the director of the Georgia Debate Union for the last twenty-five years. Our program works with intercollegiate debaters who engage in public policy debate (National Debate Tournament style debate). Our coaches collaborate with undergraduate debaters on developing argument strategies for the annual national topic, direct research on that topic, facilitating discussions related to theories of debate, and listen to practice debates and speeches.

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18 Questions


Last Answer on February 04, 2013

Best Rated

Do you recruit elite high school debaters like college sports teams recruit high school athletes? Are there debate scholarships?

Asked by JKR over 11 years ago

We do offer modest scholarships. Some schools offer larger awards. Usually a school with an endowment ot one hoping to attract students who otherwise might pick a stronger cool use hefty awards for debaters.

Do the majority of your students on the UGA debate teams want to go into law and/or politics? What kind of students does debate attract?

Asked by Whitewalls over 11 years ago

Academics, Law, and a growing number into risk management. They debate using a cost-benefit template and that translates nicely into working in the insurance industry.

In college debates, how are the topics for debate chosen, and how much time are participants given to prepare themselves?

Asked by brikhaus over 11 years ago

In the policy debate community, the topic process takes about a month and culminates in a vote by participating schools. In a debate each team has a total of 10 minutes of preparation time to use as they see fit (a debate takes about 2 hours)

Have you coached any students that have gone on to become analysts or talking-heads on news networks etc?

Asked by Gracie Gray over 11 years ago

None of my students have followed that path. Theer are a lot of folks from the debate community to graviate to those types of positions.

One more, related to my previous Q. in "real" debates (like the intercollegiate ones you deal with), which is more important: delivery, or substance?

Asked by Findependent over 11 years ago

Substance. Not close.

How long do you have to go to school to be a debate coach?

Asked by Mariah over 11 years ago

I have a Ph. D. and hold a faculty appointment. Other colleges use a different model and staff a team with. Someone who has an M.A.

You mentioned that the pres. debates don't meet the conditions for a real debate. So do you think these debates serve any real purpose? Or is this all just for show?

Asked by J. Wright over 11 years ago

They have value. It is a moment that can't alsways be controlled by the campaign team and we see the candidates together and can make interpersonal judgments about each.