@montestevensFL Sorry we missed you @montestevensFL! Almost too many trophies in there to keep clean.
Corey and Anthony will get a rematch of CEDA Finals against Rutgers MN in the Quarters of the NDT! #GoRoos
UMKC Debate Has a Rich History as a Student Organization and Intercollegiate Competitive Organization
The 1936 Kansas City University yearbook offers the first record of debate on the Volker campus. On page 22, ten young men in suits are pictured next to the caption “Debate” with a description that reads “The debate teams engaged in a number of non-decision debates…” which was the norm for that era. Until the 1940’s, around the time of the first National Debate Tournament (NDT) in 1947, very few schools participated in “intercollegiate” debate tournaments. Most debates occurred within debating societies, or between different organizations from the same school.
K.C.U.’s debate program doesn’t appear again in university-archived material until an article in the January 25, 1957 Kansas City Star quotes Director of Debate Dr. Jack W. Murphy, “This is the first [debate] team the university had organized.” But once initiated, the university supported the intercollegiate program efforts by hiring Dr. Walter Murrish, an accomplished coach from Southern Illinois, in 1959. Dr. Murrish led the program to much success over the next decade.
In July 1986, the Communication Studies Department hired then practicing attorney, Linda M. Collier as the part-time director of its newly reinstated debate program. The squad in its first year won the 1987 Brady Garrison Award, the National Championship for New Programs in the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), and launched the UMKC debate renaissance.
In 1991-92, Chris Riffer and David MacDonald became the first nationally dominant UMKC debate team of the contemporary era, setting the stage for the ensuing national championships.
In 1994 the ‘Roos advanced an unprecedented five teams into elimination rounds at the 1994 CEDA National Tournament. Tracy Gonos and Owen St. Amant went undefeated and were the tournament’s top seed; Elaine Maag and
Devon Reese made it to the round of 32; Michelle Keck and RJ Carlson made it to the “sweet sixteen”; and Kieran Ringgenberg and Paul Hayes bowed-out in the semi-finals to the eventual winners—UMKC’s Brian Johnston and David Genco. Keck, Genco and Johnston also won three of the top twenty speaker awards.
1995 from most perspectives topped 1994. Ringgenberg and Hayes won 11 tournaments, and helped UMKC set a new record as it won the CEDA National Sweepstakes Championship. At the national tournament, Maag and Reese advanced to the sweet sixteen and Ringgenberg and Hayes again captured third place. Maag, Ringgenberg and Hayes all won speaker awards.
1997 was the first year the National Debate Tournament and CEDA debated the same resolution. UMKC became the first school in history to top BOTH the CEDA National Sweepstakes and the NDT National Ranking Report. Since the merger of CEDA and the NDT, UMKC has continued to be a nationally-competitive program. UMKC has qualified teams to the National Debate Tournament each year except one, and many years it has qualified two teams.
In the 1990s, the UMKC Debate Team and Director Linda M. Collier were at the forefront of attempts to increase participation of previously under-represented groups in debate. UMKC recruited and travelled several black debaters before the establishment of the Urban Debate Leagues in cities throughout the county. UMKC had the first black student to win the JV National Championship in 1998, with UMKC’s Tommy Curry and Adam Whyte winning first place and UMKC’s Josh Coffman and Matt Baisley winning second place. UMKC also partnered with DEBATE-Kansas City to establish an urban debate league in Kansas City.
In the late 90s, the team of Matt Baisley and Josh Coffman qualified three times to the NDT, advancing to elimination rounds twice. They also were semi-finalists at the CEDA National Tournament. Matt Baisley won UMKC’s first speaker award at the NDT, placing 17th.
Since 2001, UMKC has qualified 6 teams to the NDT, and has been in the elimination rounds four times. Malcolm Gordon and Bryce Dietrich advanced to elimination rounds in 2004. The following year, Malcolm Gordon and Austin Case advanced to the elimination rounds and upset the second ranked Harvard team. Malcolm followed up this performance in 2006 with partner Andy Culp. They were the eighth seed out of prelims and Malcolm was the 10th Speaker.
In the 2006-2007 season Malcolm Gordon and Amy Foster were in the elimination rounds at every tournament. At the CEDA National Tournament, Amy Foster was the 6th overall speaker, and Malcolm Gordon was the top speaker. At the National Debate Tournament, Malcolm and Amy were the fourth seed and lost in the final round taking second place.
Since its rebirth in 1986, UMKC Debate has become a perennial powerhouse. UMKC consistently finishes in the top 20 in the national rankings and has finished in the top 10 more than 15 times.
UMKC has won three varsity-level national championships:
- 1994, the UMKC team of Brian Johnston and David Genco won the CEDA National Tournament.
- 1995, UMKC won the CEDA National Sweepstakes Points Championship.
- 1997, UMKC won both the CEDA and NDT Sweepstakes Points Championships, the first school ever to accomplish that in the same year.
In the 2006-2007 season, UMKC received its first “First Round at Large” bid to the National Debate Tournament. The team of Amy Foster and Malcolm Gordon went on to defeat teams from California-Berkeley, Northwestern, Kansas, Emory, Wayne State, and more to make it to the final round of the National Debate Tournament. UMKC lost on a split decision to the team from Emory that they had previously beat earlier in the tournament.
- 2007 CEDA Top Speaker, Malcolm Gordon
- 2007 CEDA 6th Speaker, Amy Foster
- 2007 NDT 5th Speaker, Malcolm Gordon
- 2005 NDT Octafinalist, Austin Case and Malcolm Gordon
- 2005 Novice National Champion
- 2004-5 5th Place National Points Sweepstakes
- 2006 Kentucky Tournament Top Speaker
- 2007 NDT First Round At Large,
Malcolm Gordon and Amy Foster
- 2012 NDT First Round & NDT Double-Octafinalist Juan Garcia & Andrew Allsup