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Speech and Debate

Speech and Debate scholarships available

The Simpson College Speech and Debate Scholarship is awarded based on high school speech and debate experience. Consideration can also be given for other public speaking experience. Apply online today.

Simpson College Speech and Debate Coaches Spencer Waugh (far left) and Eduardo Magalhaes pose with members of the 2021 team.

Coaches who care

Spencer Waugh leads Simpson's program and has literally built it from the ground up. Starting with no students and no program when he arrived at Simpson, in less than six years, he built a powerhouse team with two national championships, one runner-up national champion, multiple individual student national champions and an expanding trophy case of impressive accolades from tournaments and competitions across the country.

He is supported by a team of equally talented and dedicated coaches who work with each student to bring out their best, teaching them not only techniques to win tournaments but providing students with valuable presentation, critical thinking and teamwork skills necessary for success after college.

Coaches include: Steven Gill, LD coach | Eduardo Magalhaes, Debate coach | Tyler Buller, Mock Trial coach.

Building a team philosophy

When you participate in Speech and Debate, you become a part of something bigger than yourself. You are an important part of the team, dedicated to helping each other be their best competitor and their best self.

You learn how to understand all sides of an issue. That takes assistance from others and embracing different points of view. This helps team cohesiveness and helps you become a more educated and a better person and debater.

The team will encourage you, challenge you and support you as you learn and grow and develop skills you will take with you and use for the rest of your life. Winning is important but team unity is what makes Simpson Speech and Debate special.

You don't have to have experience to participate

Don't worry if you've never done this before. Many successful team members did not have speech and debate experiences in high school. You only need a desire to learn, grow, work hard and support one another to succeed.

Members of the Simpson College Speech and Debate team pose with a national championship trophy.


Spencer Waugh, Director of Speech and Debate

"It is incredibly important to me that these students work together to represent the community, the college, and our state with pride. They are excellent ambassadors. In the last 10 years since the program’s inception, I’m continually inspired by the talent and the growth of the individuals on the Simpson Speech and Debate Team. Getting to be part of four national team championships has been the greatest honor of my life. And as I look at the faces of the incoming class of 2025, I am convinced that we are just getting started. Most importantly, I love seeing students take those skills beyond their four years here as they start their first jobs or take the next step into graduate school. I am so very proud of this team… past and present. Thank you to Simpson College administration, trustees, and our generous donors for this wonderful opportunity."


Marisa Mayo, Assistant Director of Speech & Debate

"I have been involved in the speech and debate community for around 10 years and am beyond excited to be joining the Simpson program. As a college competitor for Southwest Baptist University, I had the pleasure of engaging with many Simpson students during debate tournaments. They were always the brightest, kindest, and most enthusiastic advocates within the community. I transitioned to the role of judging these competitions while earning my master’s degree at UCM and the students from Simpson continued to shine. I see this ongoing legacy as a coach and cannot explain to you how thankful I am for the opportunity to encourage such passionate, intelligent, and driven Simpson scholars. This activity has always been special to me because it provides students with a wonderful, safe and inclusive environment where individuals are encouraged to exchange ideas. This community fosters an open-minded environment that is competitive and educational while creating opportunities for lifelong friendships. This organization is truly life changing. I am looking forward to working with one of the most distinguished coaches, Spencer Waugh and the incredible students here at Simpson."