Team History

Intercollegiate debate competition has been supported by the University since 1938. Georgetown has one of the most successful and well-regarded debate programs in the United States.

The team reacts to announcement of NDT victory in 2012

Fun Facts

  • Georgetown debaters have won the Top Speaker award at the National Debate Tournament six times, more than all but 2 other schools
  • Tom Rollins won the Top Speaker award twice, in 1975 and 1978
  • Georgetown’s total NDT championships (4) place it in the top five most successful programs of all time
  • Georgetown is the only school to have placed 4 speakers among the Top Ten in the same year (1973)
  • Georgetown’s team of Rollins & Walker were voted the 5th best team of the 1970s
  • Georgetown debater John Barrett is one of only two debaters in history to have reached the elimination rounds of the NDT four consecutive years, all when the tournament cleared only 16 teams
  • Georgetown debaters David Ottoson, Tom Rollins, and Brad Ziff were the first debaters to be twice voted members of the first place at-large team (ranked at the end of the regular season)
Georgetown debater David Ottoson (’75)

Top National Debate Tournament Finishes

  • 1964 – semifinals – John Hempelmann and Robert Shrum, coach: William Reynolds
  • 1965 – semifinals – John Koeltl and Robert Schrum, coach: William Reynolds
  • 1967 – semifinals – Michael Naylor and John Keoltl, coach: William Reynolds
  • 1973 – 2nd place – Bradley Ziff and Stewart Jay, coach: James J. Unger
  • 1976 – 2nd place – Charles Chafer and David Ottoson, coach: James J. Unger
  • 1977 – winners – John Walker and David Ottoson, coach: James J. Unger
  • 1978 – semifinals – David Ottoson and Thomas Rollins, coach: James J. Unger
  • 1986 – 2nd place – Michael Mazarr and Stuart Rabin, coach: Greg Mastel
  • 1992 – winners – Kevin Kuswa and Ahilan Arulanantham, coaches: Jeff Parcher and Laura Tuell-Parcher
  • 1993 – 2nd place – Ahilan Arulanantham and Eric Truett, coach: Jeff Parcher
  • 2012 – winners – Andrew Arsht and Andrew Markoff, coaches: Jonathan Paul, Michael Antonucci, Seth Gannon, Kevin Kallmyer, Nate Cohn, Anton Strezhnev
  • 2014 – winners – Andrew Arsht and Andrew Markoff, coaches: Jonathan Paul, Seth Gannon, Kevin Kallmyer
  • 2017 – 2nd place – Natalie Knez and Ezra Louvis, coaches: Jonathan Paul, Jackson Erpenbach, Seth Gannon
  • 2018 – 2nd place – David Bernstein and Natalie Knez, coaches: Mikaela Malsin, Brandon Kelley, Ezra Louvis, Marquis Ard, Seth Gannon

On June 25th, 2014, Representative Bishop (R-UT) formally congratulated Georgetown AM on the floor of Congress

Check out a Washington Post feature on Georgetown Debate from 1978!