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History of Kentucky Debate

A History of Success

UK has won the National Debate Tournament twice.

 

UK teams have reached final rounds of virtually every major invitational, including Harvard, Dartmouth, Wake Forest, Northwestern, and Emory.

 

UK has won the coveted Copeland Award twice, recognizing the team with the best regular-season record.

 

UK debaters have been named Top Speaker at the National Debate Tournament on six occasions, 2nd all time.

 

UK has reached Semifinals of the NDT seven times and is ranked 7th overall, with 30 first-round teams.

Coach Roger Solt, c. 1990

History of UK at the NDT

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NDT CHAMPIONS

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2019 - Dan Bannister & Anthony Trufanov

1986 - Daniel Brownell & Ouita Papka

NOTABLE NUMBERS

NDT Champions
2019 Dan Bannister & Anthony Trufanov (8-0 record, 1st seed)

Coached by Dave Arnett, Lincoln Garrett, Amar Adam, and Seth Gannon
 

1986 David Brownell & Ouita Papka (7-1 record, 3rd seed)

Coached by J.W. Patterson and Roger Solt

Copeland Award (Top First-Round At-Large to the NDT)

2019 Dan Bannister & Anthony Trufanov

Coached by Dave Arnett, Lincoln Garrett, Amar Adam, and Seth Gannon

1994 Jason Patil & Paul Skiermont

Coached by J.W. Patterson and Roger Solt

NDT Top Speakers
1977 Gil Skillman
1981 Jeff Jones
1982 Steve Mancuso
1991 T.A. McKinney
1994 Paul Skiermont
1995 Paul Skiermont

NDT Top Five Speakers
3rd 1976 Gil Skillman
4th 1981 Steve Mancuso
4th 1985 Michael Mankins
4th 1993 Paul Skiermont
5th 1980 Jeff Jones
5th 1990 T.A. McKinney
5th 1995 Jason Patil
5th 2002 Russ Hubbard
4th 2019 Dan Bannister
2nd 2019 Anthony Trufanov

Teams with the Most First-Round At-Large Bids to the NDT
Kentucky is ranked 7th overall, with 30 first-round teams

Years Qualifying for the NDT: 51 years

Number of Teams Competing at the NDT: 82 teams

Number of NDT Prelim Wins & Losses: 376 wins & 267 losses, with a 58.5% overall win record

Total Teams in NDT Elims: 41 teams, ranked #12 overall as of 2011

Total NDT Elim wins: 37-37 (50%)

Teams in the Doubles/Partial Doubles: 14

Teams in the Octafinals: 12

Teams in the Quarterfinals: 7

Teams in the Semifinals: 5

Second-Place Teams: 1

NDT Hosts: 1979 Hosted by J.W. Patterson, Directed by Michael Hazen (ranked the second-best NDT of the 1970s in Southworth’s History of the NDT)

Two Teams Clear to Elims: 8 - 1974, 1985, 1991, 1994, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Two Teams Attend the NDT: 26 years

Three Teams Attend the NDT: 4 years

Number of NDT First Seeds: 4, tied for 4th overall (1974, 1981, 1994, 2019)
 

Most Individual Victories
T.A. McKinney, 22-10 in prelims, 5-4 in elims, 4 year NDT competitor, 27 total wins, ranked #38 of all time
Theo Noparstak, 22-10 in prelims, 4-4 in elims, 4 year NDT competitor, 26 total wins
Steve Mancuso, 21-3 in prelims, 4-3 in elims, 3 year NDT competitor, 25 total wins, ranked #53 of all time
Donald Grasse, 21-11 in prelims, 3-3 in elims, 4 year NDT competitor, 24 total wins

Dan Bannister, 19-5 in prelims, 4-3 in elims, 3 year NDT competitor, 23 total wins

Anthony Trufanov, 19-5 in prelims, 4-3 in elims, 3 year NDT competitor, 23 total wins

Notable Numbers

NATIONAL DEBATE TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS

1960 Fitzgerald & Curris (14th seed, Octafinals, 4-4 with 14 ballots)

1964 Crockarell & Grogan


1967 Page & Valentine


1968 Page & Valentine


1973 Flegle & Jones


1974 Flegle & Jones, 6th first round, Jones - 7th speaker, 1st seed, Semis, 7-1 with 19 ballots; Oberst and Viehe, 10th seed in elims, Octafinals, 6-2 with 14 ballots


1975 Skillman & Thomson, 11th first round, Skillman - 8th speaker, 5th seed, Semifinals, 6-2 with 16 ballots


1976 Oberst & Skillman, 4th first round, Skillman - 3rd speaker, Oberst - 9th speaker, 9th seed, Octafinals, 5-3 with 16 ballots


1977 Oberst & Skillman, 5th first round, Skillman - 1st speaker, Oberst - 6th speaker, 6th seed, Quarters, 6-2 with 15 ballots


1978 Duffy & Jones


1979 Duffy & Jones


1980 Jones & Mancuso, 4th first round, Jones - 5th speaker, 6th seed, Octafinals, 6-2 with 16 ballots


1981 Jones & Mancuso, 2nd first round, Jones - 1st speaker, Mancuso - 4th speaker, 1st seed, Semifinals, 8-0 with 23 ballots; Dzuris & Kincaid


1982 Mancuso & McGlothlen, 3rd first round, Mancuso - 1st speaker, 2nd seed, Semifinals, 7-1 with 18 ballots; Dzuris & Kincaid


1984 Mankins & Papka, 12th first round, 4th seed, Octafinals, 6-2 record with 18 ballots; Flowers & Kupferberg


1985 Mankins & Papka, 2nd first round, Mankins - 4th speaker, Papka - 8th speaker, 13th seed, Quarterfinals, 5-3 record with 14 ballots; Flowers & Kupferberg, 12th seed, Octafinals, 5-3 with 15 ballots


1986 Brownell &Papka, 8th first round, Papka - 8th speaker, 3rd seed, NDT Champions, 7-1 with 15 ballots;-Flowers & Kupferberg, 11th first round


1987 Hodges & Kupferberg, 11th first round, 20th seed, Partial-Double, 5-3 with 15 ballots


1988 Hodges & McKinney, 12th first round, 20th seed, Partial-Double, 5-3 with 14 ballots; Rockefeller & Walsh


1989 McKinney & Rockefeller, 13th first round, 6th seed, Semis, 6-2 with 18 ballots; Massey & Walsh


1990 McKinney & Rockefeller, 7th first round, McKinney - 5th speaker, 16th seed, Quarterfinals, 5-3 with 15 ballots; Gallagher & Walsh


1991 McKinney & Walsh, 4th first round, McKinney - 1st speaker, 7th seed, Quarterfinals, 6-2 with 18 ballots; Reeve & Rockefeller, Rockefeller - 9th speaker, 13th seed, Partial-Double, 5-3 with 17 ballots


1992 Reeve & Skiermont; Finch & Kiani


1993 Renzelmann & Skiermont, 14th first round, Skiermont - 4th speaker; Reeve & Wells; Finch & Kiani


1994 Patil & Skiermont, 1st first round, Skiermont - 1st speaker, Patil - 5th speaker, 1st seed, Quarterfinals, 7-1 with 20 ballots; Renzelmann & Wells, 11th first round, 15th seed, Octafinals, 5-3 with 15 ballots; Finch & Kiani, 15th in first round voting


1995 Finch & Skiermont, 2nd first round, Skiermont - 1st speaker, 11th seed, Quarterfinals, 6-2 with 16 ballots; Patil & Renzelmann


1996 Stetson & Teagle


1997 Jensen & Ray


1998 Jensen & Ray


1999 Jensen & Ray, 27th seed, Partial-Double, 5-3 with 14 ballots


2000 Jensen & Ray, 11th seed, Partial-Double, 6-2 with 17 ballots; Hubbard & Kall


2001 Hubbard & Kall


2002 Hubbard & Tetzlaff, 9th first round, Hubbard - 5th speaker, 2nd seed, Finals, 7-1 with 19 ballots


2003 Hartmann & Schy; Bunch & Whittaker


2004 Hartmann & Schy

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2006 Jones & Schy, 23rd seed, Octafinals, 5-3 with 15 ballots; Theodosopoulos & Thiele


2007 Gentile & Theodosopoulos


2008 Gentile & Theodosopoulos, 27th seed, Partial-Double, 5-3 with 11 ballots; Gautam & Gort


2010 Gautam & Gentile, 28th seed, Quarterfinals, 5-3 with 13 ballots


2011 Gautam & Steckler


2013 Grasse & Roman, 16th seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 16 ballots; Geldof & Strong


2014 Grasse & Roman; Geldof & Vargason


2015 Grasse & Noparstak, 12th seed, Octas, 6-2 with 16 ballots; Geldof & Vargason, 13th seed, Octafinals, 6-2 with 14 ballots; Hampton & Roman


2016 Grasse & Noparstak, 10th first round, 6th seed, Quarterfinals, 6-2 with 18 ballots; Geldof & Vargason, 16th first round, 22nd seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 15 ballots; Hampton & Roman, 17th seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 17 ballots


2017 Adam & Noparstak, 23rd seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 14 ballots; Bannister & Trufanov, 13th first round, 22nd seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 14 ballots


2018 Adam & Noparstak, 16th first round, 26th seed, Octafinals, 5-3 with 14 ballots; Bannister & Trufanov, 5th first round bid, 13th seed, Doubles, 5-3 with 18 ballots.


2019 Bannister & Trufanov, 1st first round bid, 1st seed, NDT Champions, 8-0 with 24 ballots; Hackman & Rivas

2020 Eckert & Hackman, 10th first round; Ivackovic & Lucas (NDT not held due to COVID-19)

2021 Di & Griffith, 14th first round, Doubles; Barrett & Lucas, 2-2 with 5 ballots (dropped due to illness)

2022 Di & Griffith, 13th first round, Doubles; Kiihnl & Adam, 4-4 with 10 ballots

2023 Di & Gabay, 4-4; Kiihnl & Griffith, 5-3, 19th seed, Octafinals, Griffith - 17th speaker

NDT Qualifiers

THE BEST OF

Best Team 1980s
Mancuso and Jones - #3 overall

Total Teams in Elims of the 1980s
10, #5 overall

Most Elim Wins in the 1980s
11-9, #5 overall

Best Speakers of the 1970s
Gil Skillman - #4 overall

Best Speakers of the 1980s
Steve Mancuso - #3 overall
Jeff Jones - #5 overall

Best Speakers of the 1990s
Paul Skiermont - #3 overall

Best Judges of the 1980s
Roger Solt - #1 overall

Best Coaches of the 1980s
Roger Solt - #5 overall

Best Judges of the 1990s
Roger Solt - #3 overall

The Best Of
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OUTSTANDING FIRST YEAR

1973 Mark Viehe
1974 Gil Skillman
1975 Guy Campisano
1976 Mark Parson
1977 Karen Gruneisen
1978 Jim Duffy and Jeff Jones
1979 Steve Mancuso
1980 Condon McGlothlen
1981 Paul Kopasz
1982 Mike Mankins
1983 Ouita Papka
1984 Paul Flowers
1985 David Brownell
1988 T.A. McKinney
1990 Jerry Gallager
1991 Jonathon Reeve
1992 Paul Skiermont
1993 Jason Renzelmann
1994 Kyle Norman
1997 Brian Ray
1999 Russ Hubbard
2003 Reuben Schy
2004 Angelo Theodospoulos
2006 Mike Jones
2011 Christian Stecker
2012 Evan Sweet
2013 Donnie Grasse
2014 Ava Vargason
2015 Amar Adam, Holmes Hampton, Theo Noparstak
2016 Jacinda Rivas

2017: Dan Bannister and Anthony Trufanov

2020: Chris Eckert
2021: Jordan Di and David Griffith

Outstanding First Year

DISTINGUISHED STUDENT SPEAKER

1949 Betty Hammock and Joe Mainous

1950 Jeanne Harrell

1953 William Douglas

1954 George Shadoan

1955 Mike Ganji

1956 James Dundon and Charles English

1958 Richard Roberts

1959 Tex Fitzgerald

1961 Deno Curris

1962 Bettye Choate and Warren Scoville

1963 Donald Clapp and Kevin Hennessey

1964 Richard Ford

1965 Phil Grogan

1966 John Patton

1967 Rodney Page

1968 Robert Vallentine

1969-1971 John Nelson and Scott Wendelsdorf

1972 Jeff Lankford

1973 Jim Flegle

1974 Ben Jones

1975 Gil Skillman and Mary Thomson

1976 Gerry Oberst

1979 Jeff Jones

1980 Steve Mancuso

1981 Marie Dzuris and Ron Kinkaid

1982 Condon McGlothlen

1984 Mike Mankins and Ouita Papka

1985 Paul Flowers and Eric Kupferberg

1986 David Brownell

1987 Scott Hodges 

1988 T.A. McKinney

1989 Calvin Rockefeller

1991 David Walsh

1993 Jonathan Reeve and Paul Skiermont

1994 Cy Kiani and Trevor Wells

1995 Jason Patil and Jay Finch

2000 Brian Ray and Paul Jenson

2001 Aaron Kall

2002 Ross Hubbard and Mike Tetzlaff

2006 Ruben Schy

2016 Jonathan Geldof, Donald Grasse and Marcel Roman

2017 Ava Vargason

2018 Amar Adam and Theo Noparstak

2019 Jacinda Rivas, Dan Bannister and Anthony Trufanov

2020 Genevieve Hackman

2021 Saturn Kendrick

Distinguished Student Speaker

HALL OF FAME

1974 Jim Flegle

1977 Gil Skillman

1978 Gerry Oberst

1981 Jeff Jones

1982 Steve Mancuso

1983 Condon McGlothlen

1985 Mike Mankins

1986 Ouita Papka

1991 T.A. McKinney

1994 Paul Skiermont

2002 Russ Hubbard

2016 Donald Grasse

2020 Anthony Trufanov

2020 Dan Bannister

Hall of Fame

ARTICLES ABOUT THE TEAM

A collection of reporting about the UK Debate Team, past and present.

Articles

A complete history of the University of Kentucky Round Robin debate tournament.

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