I began coaching debate as the assistant coach at West Bend East in the fall of 1971.I think it was 1973 when I became the head coach.I guess that puts me in “the biz” long before you or your coach were born.I can’t imagine you need this info, but I earned both my bachelor and master degrees from UW-Whitewater.I’ve been a member of NFL since 1964 and currently hold a quad diamond. I’m a retired Speech and English teacher with 38 years of forensic coaching experience.


Long ago, I believed in case specific details.I still do.Call me old-fashioned.I won’t mind. I’ll consider it a compliment.I believe that the affirmative has a responsibility to present a prima facie case and a plan to correct the problem.I believe their case is strengthened when it’s supported by a number of experts, not just one lone voice used over and over.

I believe that the negative should attack those stock issues and plan.I have been known to vote on T. I expect the violation to be based on reasonable definitions -- probably not words like: "the", "a", "an" -- get the idea? The charge needs to be real, not an "it might" situation.

I do not believe that counterplans (I'll listen to them) should be topical or that every plan will lead to a nuclear war.If that were the case, we’d all be dead, not debating.I like the real world. DAs need to link to the case.

I believe that debaters ought to be polite to each other – well, at least civil.I don’t think debaters should be asking or answering questions during another’s cross exam period. If your partner needs help, work with him/her during the week.

I don’t believe that affirmatives should be asked to hand over their work to a negative team.If I had to listen and flow, so does the negative.I also don’t believe that papers or computers should be taken from the hands of either side just because, “my partner wants to read it.”Your partner needs to listen too. Standing behind a speaker, looking like a vulture, is unacceptable.

I don’t believe that debaters need to talk so fast that no one could possible understand their words.Where’s the logic in that?Can you win arguments when people have no clue what you’ve said?I simply declare that those indistinguishable words were never spoken in the round and no mention of them will be found on my flow.

I like well sign-posted attacks and responses.I like clarity.I like analysis, not just card reading.It’s not my job to make your argument for you. And if your evidence could actually match the tag you read, that would be a tremendous asset to your side. I don’t like jargon.My world is a no “perm” world. Persuade me with your logical, substantiated attacks. The number of issues is not particularly relevant.

If my comments sound cruel or unrealistic to you, please strike me in whatever way you can because you don’t want me as your judge.Oh, and, no I won’t disclose or hold up your next round with oral comments.If I haven’t answered your questions, feel free to ask.I’ll share.


I’m a purist. I expect a clearly explained value from each debater. I expect clash on which value should have the higher priority.
I want criteria that show me who better achieves the value while either affirming or negating the resolution.
Although this is theory debate, a few concrete examples will help me believe your position.
I have the same pet peeves here as in all other debate formats. Too fast means I didn’t catch the idea. That’s bad. Too little analysis means I can’t expect your opponent to respond to it. That’s equally bad –actually, that’s worse. I will listen to anything you want to include in your attack. I will not, however, make the attacks for you. Be specific.
At the end, I expect both debaters to flat out tell me why s/he wins the round. What are the voters?