Dr. Brian Lain, UNT Director of Debate

Dr. Brian Lain Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Debate at the University of North Texas. Brian attended Wake Forest University on a Presidential Scholarship, where he earned a top-6 First Round At Large Bid to the National Debate Tournament in two consecutive years. Brian went on to earn his Master’s degree at Wayne State University in Detroit and his Doctorate at the University of Iowa.

Having coached for Iowa, Wayne State, and Emory (where he coached the 1996 NDT Champions) and taught at workshops such as Wake and Dartmouth, Brian’s proven track record of success are even more evident in the new direction of the UNT debate program. During his tenure at the University of North Texas, debaters have advanced to the late elimination rounds of the NDT and CEDA Nationals and captured Top Speaker at the National Debate Tournament. We are proud to offer Brian’s skills at this summer’s workshops.

Kandi King, Director of Residential Life

In a world where many debate workshops have college students in charge of residential facilities we are pleased that Kandi King, retired Director of Debate at San Antonio’s Winston Churchill High School, has agreed to return as Director of Residential Life at the Mean Green Workshops. Kandi is an experienced educator with over 25 years of experience teaching as well as working at debate institutes that gives her unique perspective on the needs of workshop participants. Kandi has had dozens of state and national level competitors including most recently a national runner up in Lincoln Douglas and a NFL national policy debate top speaker. Her student won the Texas Forensic Association state title in Lincoln Debate in 2004, but don’t think for a second that retirement means this coach is running out of steam: she followed up with TFA state titles in LD and Extemp in 2010.

Respected by her peers, Kandi is the President of the Texas Speech Communication Association. She is a former Texas Speech Teacher of the Year; State Officer of Texas Forensic Association for 18 years and past President; charter member of the Iowa Summer Debate Institute and is a current member of the National Forensic League Executive Council. We are honored that she has decided to join us again this summer.

Dave Huston, Assistant Director of Residential Life

Dave Huston joins our staff again this summer. He has successfully coached at five different high schools during his long career. His students have won the UC Berkeley, Grapevine, Greenhill, and MBA tournaments. In addition, teams he has coached have won many regional and state competitions, including the UIL State Championship in 2001 and the TFA State Championship in 2004. He has also coached an NFL National Champion and a TOC runner-up. Dave is a Barkley Forum Key Coach and a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors for the NFL.

Why do you think debate workshop is important to debaters?

Debate workshops give students the opportunity to focus solely on debate during a concentrated time period. Debaters have no distractions from school or homework while at the workshop. This focus allows them to increase their learning curve, concentrate on specific arguments and ideas, and generally, develop a love for the activity. They get the opportunity to forge lasting friendships and be exposed to individuals who have a passion for the activity. Where else, but a debate workshop, do you get to be coached by some of the best that this activity has to offer?

What’s one thing debaters should focus on when thinking about what workshop to attend?

One of the things they ought to think about is what is expected by the judges and competitors on their own circuit. What types of arguments work well on their circuit? Who is their competition going to be? They need to find an environment that is going to address those needs and concerns.