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.

2019Cort SylvesterRosemount High School
2018Robyn MadsonForest Lake High School
2017 (tie)Zach PraxEastview High School
2017 (tie)Katie ScholzEast Ridge High School
2016Dave PritschetBrainerd High School
2015Shane Stafford and Sandy BerkowitzThe Blake School
2014Tom FonesSt. Paul Academy
2013 (tie)Todd HeringEastview High School
2013 (tie)Sheila PetersonWayzata High School
2012Andy CharrierLakeville Schools
2010Aneesh SohoniWayzata High School
2009Jason JohnsonHenry Sibley High School
2008Peter NikolaiSt. Paul Central Senior High School
2007Chris McDonaldEagan High School
2005DJ BryntesonRobbinsdale Cooper High School
2004Mike BietzEdina High School
2003Lynn SchmittEdina High School
2002Conrad AndersonSouth St. Paul high School
2001Joe SchmittEdina High School
2000Todd HeringEastview High School
1999Robert GrovenRosemount High School
1998Tom BackenBenilde St. Margaret’s School
1997Norman LeistikowBloomington Jefferson High School
1996Pam CadyApple Valley High School
1995Gail SarffWayzata High School
1994Helen FiskSt. Paul Academy and Summit School
1993Susan ClarkLakeville High School
1992Barbara KerstenRoseville High School
1991Lee AltoGrand Rapids High School
1990Dorothy SunneForest Lake High School
1989Wayne BrintonApple Valley High School
1988Douglas JohnsonBrainerd High School
1987James GraupnerStillwater High School
1986Barbara KerstenRoseville High School
1985Gregory DawsonThe Blake School
1984Randall KeillorSt. Francis High School
1983Robert IhrigMankato West High School
1982Merle BauderGrand Rapids High School