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 email@example.com.
Anthony McMullen - University of Central Arkansas Nominated by Joe Ganakos (Lee College): 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, and is always a fair and steady voice in matter that impact our organization. His service as Managing Director of the Southern Forensics Championships has made that tournament one of the premier events of the IPDA season. Coach McMullen has hosted National Championship Tournaments, served on various committees for our organization, and represents the peerless character and tireless effort that is in keeping with Bennett Strange's legacy. He is an invaluable asset to his program and to the IPDA itself ... I can think of no better recipient of the 2020 IPDA Bennett Strange Coach of the Year than Anthony McMullen.
AJ Edwards - Louisiana State University - Shreveport Nominated by Sheila Ritchie (Abilene Christian University): AJ's drive and commitment to excellence show in his student outcomes and the character of his team. AJ goes above and beyond to support the IPDA community and my students have often been the benefactors of his coaching and encouragement. His students carry themselves with grace and collegiality that mirrors the attitude of their coach. Although his tenure as the full-time coach for LSUS has been brief, his commitment to his team will have long-lasting impacts on the LSUS program and IPDA. Without hesitation, I nominate AJ Edwards for the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year Award.
Sheila Ritchie - Abilene Christian University Nominated by Hannah Morris (Northwest Arkansas Community College): I would like to nominate Sheila Ritchie for Bennett Strange Coach of the Year. Sheila has been steadfast in her commitment to the IPDA community since the very beginning of her time on the circuit; she continues to excel as a coach and as a colleague, never ceasing in her pursuit of success for her students as well as for her program as a whole. She maintains a level of professionalism and kindness that I hope to follow, and I truly believe she is someone to be looked up to and emulated. Sheila hosted a successful IPDA tournament at ACU, has lent a helping hand at every tournament she can, and so much more. She is someone on our circuit that deserves recognition for her tireless pursuit of fairness and support, never questioning those in need and always maintaining dignity and class. Bennett Strange’s legacy would surely be upheld if this honor was extended to Sheila Ritchie.
Hannah Morris - Northwest Arkansas Community College Nominated by Misty Sutton (Northwest Arkansas Community College): It is my honor and pleasure to nominate Hannah Morris for the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year. Hannah's level of commitment, as well as how much she has impacted our "small but mighty" team here at Northwest Arkansas Community College, can be seen through everything our team has accomplished this year. In our inaugural year our team of only six members now includes a novice ranked in the top 20, a junior varsity ranked in the top 10, a pro squad ranked in the top 10, a speaker ranked in the top 10, two students who have qualified for the Noel Tournament of Champions, and a team that is now ranked in the top 20 percent of IPDA. We adore our Coach Hannah. It has been through her guidance, experience, incredible patience, and love for IPDA and her students that the NWACC Speech and Debate Team has not only been able to host our very first IPDA tournament, but are the team we are today. We owe all of our success to Hannah Morris, who, without a doubt, embodies everything the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year should be.
Sam Director - Colorado Christian University Nominated by Mike Ingram (Whitworth University):Under Sam's leadership, Colorado Christian University has made a successful transition from NPDA to IPDA and found success in our activity. His teams have done well at IPDA Nationals, including winning TIPDA in 2019 and being a top five program in sweepstakes last year. His teams have done very well at tournaments in the Colorado/Wyoming region, Texas and the Pacific Northwest. And concurrently they have found success in individual events. This is all the more remarkable as Sam is a full time doctoral student. He coaches at CCU on a part time basis because he cares for the students and for IPDA. When the previous DOF left and the program's future was uncertain, Sam stepped in. He has provided excellent leadership for the program, meaningful mentorship for students and written educational ballots for many debaters. He is already displaying excellent coaching skills. I hope IPDA will consider his fine work.
2020 IPDA Governing Board Nominees
Below are Coaches that have been nominated to serve on the IPDA Governing Board 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.
Sheila Ritchie - Abilene Christian University Nominated by Bob Alexander (BPCC): It is my distinct pleasure to nominate Sheila Ritchie, Coach of Abilene Christian University, for re-election to the IPDA Governing Board. At last year's National Championship Tournament, Sheila was asked by the IPDA Executive Committee to fill a partial term that had vacated; and, she has been an invaluable asset to our organization in that role. As a coach, Sheila has built ACU into a competitive and collegial team in just a few short years, and her efforts at hosting her first IPDA tournament this semester were among the most impressive I’ve seen in my time with this organization. She has taken on the task of putting forth a bid to host the 2021 National Championship Tournament & Convention, and her participation in all facets of this activity has been exemplary. Sheila makes a wonderful ambassador for what makes the IPDA such a valuable organization, she continues to bring a fresh voice and perspective to IPDA's governance, and her continued leadership on the IPDA Governing Board will help guide us to the future this organization deserves.
Joe Ganakos - Lee College Nominated by Sheila Ritchie (Abilene Christian University): I nominate Joe Ganakos for an additional term on the IPDA Governing Board. In my time in IPDA and on the Governing Board, Joe's guidance and support for the IPDA community have been invaluable to the organization. He is a tireless proponent for the IPDA organization, encouraging new programs to join and offering assistance in any way he can. Joe is quick to encourage ailing or small programs and truly has a vision for the growth of the IPDA organization. Whether dealing with mundane or difficult Governing Board issues, he brings wisdom and discernment to the process. In the interest of the IPDA community, and with a goal for the continued growth of our organization, I wholeheartedly nominate Joe Ganakos for an additional term on the IPDA Governing Board.
Megan Smith - Louisiana Tech University Nominated by Ashley Hale (Louisiana Tech University): Megan Smith has been an dedicated member of the IPDA community since 2003, first as a competitor, then as an assistant coach at University of Louisiana-Monroe, and co-coach at Texas A&M International University, where Kina Reed and Megan formed the first debate program at the school. She is currently the debate coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech University. She is committed to expanding IPDA while promoting the tenets of the organization we all value.