Below are Coaches that have been nominated for the award this year and any information available from their nominations. PLEASE NOTE:There will be a write-in option on the ballot made available at the Tournament! If you have a nomination you'd like to make please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Milstead - Southern Methodist University Nominated by Seth Fendley and Ashley Hale: (From Seth Fendley) I would like to nominate Keith Milstead for the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year. Keith has been a member of the IPDA community for many years. During his time within the community he has served as both a coach and a leader within IPDA. Most recently, Keith has moved from being an assistant coach at UAM to serving in a volunteer/assistant coach capacity at Southern Methodist University. I believe Keith's commitment to both IPDA and coaching during a year of transition exemplifies and embodies the qualities of an individual worthy of the Bennett Strange award.
While I never personally knew Bennett, the stories I have heard of Bennett indicate Keith carries some of the same qualities, namely being a friend and coach to all. Keith is willing to help out at a moment's notice whether it's coaching or assisting with a tournament. He is always seeking to grow IPDA wherever possible. I cannot think of someone more deserving than Keith Milstead to receive the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year Award.
Dr. Cole Franklin - East Texas Baptist University Nominated by Bob Alexander
Candidate Statement by Cole Franklin: Dear IPDA Community,First, let me say that I am honored beyond words to be nominated for the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year award. To be mentioned as a nominee for an award with Bennet’s name on it is quite humbling. I wanted to take a moment to keep the IPDA community aware of who Bennett Strange was and why this award is so suitably named. Allow me, for a moment, to tell you my story of Bennett Strange, the impact he had on my life, and a little about who Bennett was. I had known of Bennett Strange my entire life. When I was a child, he owned and operated a radio station in Mansfield, Louisiana. Each week, he would call my grandmother on his radio show and she would give an update of the social happenings in the nearby town of Grand Cane, Louisiana where she lived. Bennett and my mother were second cousins as well, so I head the name Bennett Strange as a child, but never met him until the fall of my freshman year at Louisiana College. Bennett had been hired to re-activate the debate team at Louisiana College that had been defunct for many years. Bennett only planned to teach at Louisiana College for one year. At the end of that year, the Cross Examination Debate Association awarded Louisiana College as the best new or reactivated debate program in the United States. Thus Bennett’s one year turned into a 19-year teaching career at LC. As a Communication Arts major at LC, one of my primary professors was Bennett. I took many classes under the direction of Bennett and learned more from him in four years than I could have ever imagined. Bennett was my teacher. When I was a junior, I joined the LC debate team. While I was far from the best debater on the team, I learned lessons from Bennett that went beyond the debate round. I only hope that the influence I have on my students is a fraction of the influence he had on me, Bennett was my coach. Upon graduation, Bennett advised me and I followed his suggestions to pursue my master’s degree at Stephen F. Austin State University and my doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi. Bennett was my mentor. In 1995, Bennett, as department chair at Louisiana College, gave me the opportunity to return to LC as an instructor. While the appointment was only for one year, Bennett again gave me the opportunity to teach at Louisiana College in 2001, this time on a permanent basis. In my six years teaching at LC, Bennett gave me the opportunity to accompany the LC debate team as a judge and coaching assistant. He also taught me again more than I could imagine about what kind of professor and influence I wanted to be for my students. In the department, Bennett was my supervisor. Bennett was my colleague. Bennett was my role model. In 2006, I left Louisiana College to go to East Texas Baptist University. In 2007, I was charged with re-activating the ETBU debate team. I turned to Bennett for help. He again gave me guidance and invaluable direction. Again, Bennett was my advisor, mentor, and friend. Advisor…Coach…Colleague…Friend…Role Model…Supervisor…Teacher. We call it the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year award, but Bennett Strange was so much more than just a coach – and not just to those of us at Louisiana College as students or colleagues of his, but to much of the IPDA community as well. We all learned much from Bennett and this award is a fitting way to keep his legacy and his lessons for all of us alive, even after he has passed. May we all take a lesson from Bennett and continue to learn lessons he taught to so many of us in the community of this association.
Anthony McMullen - University of Central Arkansas Nominated by Joe Ganakos: I would like to nominate Anthony McMullen for the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year. Anthony's commitment to the IPDA has been nothing short of exemplary. His annual tournament is one that runs like clockwork, he coaches top students in multiple divisions every year, he helps act as an ambassador of the level of talent in the IPDA each year during the James Madison Cup. He's hosted National Championship Tournaments, served on various committees for our organization, and represents the character and tireless effort that is in keeping with Bennett Strange's legacy. Anthony is an invaluable asset to his program and to the IPDA itself.
2018 Governing Board Nominees
Below are nominations that have been received and any information available provided by them and/or their nominations. If you have a nomination you'd like to make please email it to email@example.com.
Dr. Paul Strait - University of Southern Mississippi From Self-Nomination: As a rhetorician and argument studies scholar, I love the way that IPDA keeps debate grounded in speech communication and the academic literature on persuasion and argumentation. I've been involved in the debate community for more than 20 years and no other format accomplishes this better. My experience on the Southern Forensics Championship governing board and as an IPDA tournament director has given me a sense for the practical impact of the policies, rules, and procedures of the IPDA over which the governing board deliberates. As our format continues to grow and flourish, technological developments, regional variations in norms of practice, and the needs of new programs may generate issues that the governing board will face, and it will be important to for our leadership to be open to new ideas while being faithful to the core values of appropriate and effective oral advocacy in real-world persuasive contexts. I know I am up to the task and would be honored to serve the community in this capacity.
Dr. Pat Richey - Middle Tennessee State University Nominated by Joe Ganakos: Pat Richey is not only a superb coach and dedicated teacher of young minds but one of the hardest working individuals the IPDA Governing Board has seen. His dedication to the IPDA, and to the field of forensics competition in general, is the very model of "servant leadership". Pat, the Head Coach of the Middle Tennessee State University Debate Team and outgoing IPDA Governing Board Chair, had demonstrated exemplary service on the Governing Board and in his longtime role as Historian of the IPDA; this service is proof positive of his unflagging commitment to helping the IPDA continue to grow. Having had the pleasure of working alongside Pat, I can say without hesitation that his continued presence on the Governing Board will benefit the organization as a whole and provide us a valuable advocate for continued expansion east of the Mississippi River.
Megan Smith - Louisiana Tech University Nominated by Jim Evans: It is my great pleasure to nominate Megan Smith for election to the IPDA governing board. Over the past several years, it has been my privilege to work with her and attend her tournament held at LTU this previous fall. Over this time, she has been a strong ambassador for IPDA. I have been impressed by her opinions on issues the organization has encountered and for her professional demeanor at all times. She is a great coach and an even better person. She is dedicated to student success both inside and out of debate rounds. She expects a high standard not only from her students, but even more so from herself. If you have not met her, find her at nationals and she will win you over the same way she has impressed me over the past several years.