Ross Smith, debate coach for Wake Forest University, was recently named the 1997 National Debate Coach of the Year.
The coaching award was presented to Smith on Sept. 21 at the South Carolina Earlybird Debate Tournament.
Smith, a Wake Forest graduate and former debater, has worked with the university’s program since 1984. The program is consistently ranked one of the best in the country. Last spring, a Wake Forest team won the national championship in intercollegiate debating at the 51st National Debate Tournament.
“I enjoy coaching because each year is a little bit different depending on the students and the topics,” Smith said. “I spend a lot of time working closely with the students and they’re very excited about debating.”
In addition to Smith’s coaching, he introduced numerous innovations to collegiate tournament debate, such as revised national time limits. He also spearheaded the effort for the two largest intercollegiate debate organizations, the National Debate Tournament and the Cross Examination Debate Association, to use the same topic beginning in the 1996-1997 season.
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