Coach of the Year

The MDTA Coach of the Year Award was established in 1982 to recognize coaches who:

  1. Have succeeded in cultivating a well-balanced debate program which serves a variety of students at all levels of competition;
  2. Have developed/assisted in developing a stable debate program that has remained vital over a period of years;
  3. Have promoted admirable qualities in the students who participate in debate; and
  4. Have done a fine job of preparing students for competition.

This award is presented annually. Nominations are made via a ballot in the MDTA newsletter. Nominations, accompanied by a written rationale, are sent to an Awards Committee, appointed by the President, for review. A ballot containing no more than three names is sent to the membership for vote. The recipient is recognized at the state debate tournament with an appropriate plaque. A coach may receive the award more than once, but not within a five-year period. Two coaches have received the Coach of the Year Award twice: Barbara Kersten, former coach at Roseville High School, received the Coach of the Year Award in 1986 and in 1992, and Todd Hering, coach at Eastview High School, received the award in 2000 and 2013.

Coach of the Year Award Recipients
2018 Robyn Madson Forest Lake High School
2017 (tie) Zach Prax Eastview High School
2017 (tie) Katie Scholz East Ridge High School
2016 Dave Pritschet Brainerd High School
2015 Shane Stafford and Sandy Berkowitz The Blake School
2014 Tom Fones St. Paul Academy
2013 (tie) Todd Hering Eastview High School
2013 (tie) Sheila Peterson Wayzata High School
2012 Andy Charrier Lakeville Schools
2010 Aneesh Sohoni Wayzata High School
2009 Jason Johnson Henry Sibley High School
2008 Peter Nikolai St. Paul Central Senior High School
2007 Chris McDonald Eagan High School
2005 DJ Brynteson Robbinsdale Cooper High School
2004 Mike Bietz Edina High School
2003 Lynn Schmitt Edina High School
2002 Conrad Anderson South St. Paul high School
2001 Joe Schmitt Edina High School
2000 Todd Hering Eastview High School
1999 Robert Groven Rosemount High School
1998 Tom Backen Benilde St. Margaret’s School
1997 Norman Leistikow Bloomington Jefferson High School
1996 Pam Cady Apple Valley High School
1995 Gail Sarff Wayzata High School
1994 Helen Fisk St. Paul Academy and Summit School
1993 Susan Clark Lakeville High School
1992 Barbara Kersten Roseville High School
1991 Lee Alto Grand Rapids High School
1990 Dorothy Sunne Forest Lake High School
1989 Wayne Brinton Apple Valley High School
1988 Douglas Johnson Brainerd High School
1987 James Graupner Stillwater High School
1986 Barbara Kersten Roseville High School
1985 Gregory Dawson The Blake School
1984 Randall Keillor St. Francis High School
1983 Robert Ihrig Mankato West High School
1982 Merle Bauder Grand Rapids High School
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