Building the Tradition

Debate news stories
The UT Dallas Debate Team was established in the fall 1996, when it won the “Brady Lee Garrison Newcomer Sweepstake Award.” Since then, the team has built a tradition of success. With late elimination round appearances at all major tournaments, including the quarterfinals at the 2010 National Debate Tournament and Cross Examinational Debate Association (CEDA) competitions, our team gets plenty of high-level exposure in the debate community. Until he recently graduated, we were also the home of Brian Rubaie, CEDA’s 2010 National Debater of the Year.

UT Dallas supports its debaters through scholarships and travel opportunities, and much more. If you’re interested in joining our team or just learning more about collegiate debate, we want to hear from you. Explore the growing tradition of UT Dallas Debate.












One of the trophy cabinets housing Debate awards.

(L-R) Director of Debate, Scott Herndon, Team Member Anthony Ogbuli, Team Member Jacob Loehr and Debate Coach Phil Samuels.

Team poses with 2010 CEDA Quarter Finals plaque.

Brian Rubaie was honored as the 2010 Brian Johnston Debater of the Year. The award, given by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), honors one debater each year who demonstrates “competitive excellence and a commitment to represent the highest values of the debate community.”

Andrew Baker (left) and Brian Rubaie reached the 2010 National Debate Tournament (NDT) quarterfinals and were a first round at-large team.

The 2010 National Debate Tournament (NDT) qualifiers and coaches, Berkeley, California. The 64th annual contest was the seventh consecutive time UT Dallas teams qualified to participate.

UT Dallas debaters and coaching staff pause during the 2009 National Debate Tournament festivities in Austin. Team members who demonstrate their commitment to the debate team’s success are supported by the University with competition travel opportunities.

Former Debate Director Christopher Burk, debaters Brian Rubaie and Andrew Baker, and Debate Director Scott Herndon show off the first place trophy from the 2009 Georgia State University (GSU) National College Debate Tournament. The GSU win catapulted the team to a first place national ranking.

Brian Rubaie (left) and Andrew Baker, longtime UT Dallas debate partners, in action at the 2008 CEDA national tournament in Pocatello, Idaho. Rubaie would finish third overall. The CEDA Nationals is a tournament open to any undergraduate debater in good standing at a university.

Political science majors Collin Roark and Wes Dwyer smile for the camera during prep for the 2009 National Debate Tournament in Berkeley, Calif. Roark and Dwyer qualified to compete in the NDT by winning third place at a district qualifying competition – the result of weeks of practice and research. Teams practice and research up to 40 hours a week prior to a tournament.

2008 Cross Examination Debate Association Southwest Region Critic of the year Scott Herndon, judging the finals of CEDA national tournament in Pocatello, Idaho.

2013 NDT qualifier Samantha Varney and Jacob Loehr pose with Director Scott Herndon and Assistant Coaches Todd Jordan and Corey Stone.