Check back for more news and updates on the success of UT-Dallas Debate.


Abbott or Davis? Are you voting?

Debate Team President Jacob Loehr debates fellow students – on Texas gubernatorial race on UTD TV’s ‘Line of Fire’.

Debate Team Shows Promise at Early Season National Tournaments

Debate Team Shows Promise at Early Season National Tournaments – After the first two tournaments of the 2014-15 season, the UT Dallas debate team has proved to be tough competition. In late September at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, two of the program’s five individual teams racked up winning records and advanced to the elimination rounds.

UTD taking home honors in Vegas Classic

UTD taking home honors in Vegas Classic – UTD Debate traveled to University of Nevada, Las Vegas October 17-20 with excellent results for the team of Demarcus Powell and Daniel Becker, competing in the Junior Varsity division. After completing the preliminary debates with a record of 5 wins and 2 losses they advanced to the quarters, losing a 2-1 decision to Arizona State. They also garnered individual awards as the 3rd and 4th speaker overall in their division.

“We’re all very excited for Daniel and Demarcus. They’re in the middle of a great run and showing huge improvements from last season” said debate team director, Scott Herndon.

The team of Kyle Ballard and Thomas Flanagan also had a strong showing in the open division, finishing 4-3, but narrowly missing advancing to the elims based on speaker points.

The team is next in action October 24th as they head to Harvard to take on some of the best debate competition in the country.

Two UT Dallas Debate Alumni Making Moves

Two UT Dallas Debate Alumni Making Moves (5-21-2014) – Congrats to two former UT Dallas debaters, who have recently accepted positions allowing them to share their talents with the debate community.

Collin Roark, class of 2011, recently accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Debate at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Collin debated at UT Dallas for four years, qualifying for the National Debate Tournament three times, and receiving a First Round at-large bid in 2011, before finishing his career in the sweet 16 of the 2011 event, held at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Another big congrats to Jason Courville, class of 2003, who accepted a position at the Kinkaid School in Houston, TX, as the Middle School Debate Coach & Upper School Assistant Debate Coach. Jason has been the Director of Debate at Crosby High School in Crosby, TX, for 11 years where he coached the team to 10 straight University Interscholastic League State Championships.

Congrats to both Collin and Jason on their success.

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Debate Team Finishes Season With National Event

Debate Team Finishes Season With National Event (4-10-2014) – The UT Dallas debate team finished its 2013-2014 season with an 11th consecutive appearance at the National Debate Tournament (NDT).

Alumnus Rules as Administrative Law Judge, Continues to Support Debate Team

Alumnus Rules as Administrative Law Judge, Continues to Support Debate Team (3-31-2014) – Britt Clark BA’06 honed his speaking skills on the UT Dallas debate team. The administrative law judge for the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation is still having an impact on campus.

Debate Team Opens Season With Large Tournament on Home Turf

Debate Team Opens Season With Large Tournament on Home Turf (1-23-2014) – The two-man debate team of sophomore Jacob Loehr and junior Anthony Ogbuli defeated three teams ranked in the top 25 nationally at the recent Texas Two-Step tournament.

UT Dallas Debate

UTD Debate racks up wins in October! (11-4-2013) – “UTD debate has been busy picking up awards this month as three different teams take home honors October. It began with the team of Anthony Ogbuli and Rolando Velasquez competing at the Kansas City Kansas CC Blue Devil Debates”

UT Dallas Debate

Strong Start to 2013 for UTD Debate Team (9-17-2013) – UTD Debate traveled to the University of Missouri Kansas City, September 14-16, where over 120 college debate teams squared off for the season opener.

UT Dallas Debate's free clinic for high school students fosters community outreach, promotes growth

UT Dallas Debate’s free clinic for high school students fosters community outreach, promotes growth (9-6-2013) – Coming out of their summer debate camp that had people from across the country attend, UT Dallas Debate held another event Sept. 7 — a free debate clinic for high school students interested in strengthening their debate skills.

Phil Samuels

UT Dallas is pleased to announce the addition of Phil Samuels to the coaching staff. Phil comes to us from Illinois State University where he served as director of debate. Previously, Phil has worked as the Assistant Director at the University of Minnesota, and as a coach for the University of Kansas, where he helped KU win the National Debate Tournament in 2008. Phil’s excellence in teaching and years of competitive debate experience are a welcome addition to the team.


Samantha Varney

Debate Team Performance Steadily Climbing as Season Cranks Up – Now in the heart of competition season, the UT Dallas debate team has steadily improved with each tournament.

The team competed at Wichita State University, where freshman Jacob Loehr and sophomore Samantha Varney won six of seven of their debates in the preliminary rounds.

Jacob Loehr and Samantha Varney

Jacob Loehr and Samantha Varney Compete – The team of Jacob Loehr (Fr, Austin, TX) and Samantha Varney (So, Chicago) competed at both halves of the 10th annual Texas Two-Step, held at UTD and UNT respectively. There were more than 120 competitors at both halves of the swing, making them the third-largest invitational tournaments of the season.

At UT Dallas, Sam and Jacob were 4-2 advancing to the elimination debates and losing in the double octo-finals to a team from Baylor University. At the UNT half of the swing, Sam and Jacob finished 5-2, 12th seed overall after prelims and advanced to the round of 16 before losing to Trinity University.

It’s another strong showing for our young team. We’ve been improving and working hard and the results are starting to reflect that. Next up for the team is Wichita State and Northwestern.


Jacob Loehr

Debate Team Heads Into New Season with Promising New Members – The UT Dallas debate team will open its 2012-2013 season this weekend at the Brian Johnson Memorial Tournament, hosted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


Collin Roark

Debate Team Earns ‘Outright Win’ in Kansas City – The UT Dallas debate team is off to a strong start in 2012, including an “outright win” in Kansas City. The partnership of Collin Roark and Wes Dwyer took first place at the Brian Johnson Memorial Tournament, hosted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City from Jan. 28 to 30.


CDI Registration Open – Registration for the Comet Debate Institute is now open. The Comet Debate Institute (CDI) is an opportunity to work with the faculty and debaters at The University of Texas at Dallas, one of the nation’s fastest-rising and most successful debate programs. The CDI offers outstanding instruction in preparation for the 2011-2012 National Forensics League topic for 2 person cross-examination debate. Sign up now!

UTD Debate reaches ‘Sweet 16’ at the National Debate Tournament Congrats to Andrew Baker and Collin Roark, who represented UTD Debate in the in the Octo-finals of the National Debate Tournament held on UTD’s campus March 25-18. Baker (Senior, Political Science) and Roark (Junior, Political Science) ended prelims with a record of 6-2, having defeated teams from Loyola, Georgia and Dartmouth to advance to elimination debates, where they defeated the University of Kansas to advance to the round of 16. Andrew Baker was also awarded ninth speaker overall.

Another first round and strong showing at districts qualifies two teams to 2011 NDTCollin Roark and Andrew Baker, both political science majors, received an invitation to participate as one of the top 16 debate partnerships in the country as voted by coaches from across the U.S. Roark and Baker were the only duo from a Texas university to receive a guaranteed bid.

UTD Battles to second place finish in American Debate Association National Championship – The team of Baker (Senior, Political Science) and Roark (Junior, Political Science) advanced undefeated through the preliminary debates and into the final round of the American Debate Association National Championship. UTD lost the final round on a 2-1 decision to a team from Vanderbilt University and earned UTD Debate runner-up honors for the prestigious ADA title. The tournament was held at George Mason University, March 11-13. Andrew Baker was also honored as fifth speaker overall.

UTD Debate goes on a tear over Winter Break UT Dallas debaters have fought hard this semester, with separate teams reaching the semifinal rounds in two intercollegiate tournaments.


UTD advances to quarter finals of both CEDA and NDTThe UT Dallas debate squad wrapped up its 2009-10 season as the only organization in the country to advance a team to the quarterfinals in the nation’s two most-prestigious tournaments.

UTD receives first-round at-large bid to NDT; second team finishes third at districtsFor the seventh consecutive year, members of the UT Dallas debate team have qualified to participate in the National Debate Tournament (NDT), one of the national championships for U.S. collegiate policy debaters.

UTD BR wins season opener at Georgia StateIn a first for the UT Dallas debate program, forensic duo Brian Rubaie and Andrew Baker have been ranked No. 1 in three national ranking systems after winning last week’s tournament at Georgia State University.


UTD takes third at CEDAThe UT Dallas debate team took third place at the Cross Examinational Debate Association (CEDA) National Debate Tournament, held March 20-24, at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.

UTD Debate advances to Octo-finals at Wake ForestTwo UT Dallas debate teams returned from the Franklin R. Shirley Classic hosted by Wake Forest University with tournament results to be grateful for.

UTD Debate takes third at HarvardUT Dallas debate team members Brian Rubaie and Andrew Baker took third place at Harvard University’s annual Intercollegiate Debate Tournament Monday night in Cambridge, Mass.


UTD advance to Sweet 16 at CEDA national tournamentTwo debate teams from UT Dallas finished in the top 20 at last weekend’s National Championship Tournament of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) held in Wichita, Kan.