Published on September 27, 2011  

Debaters Dan Bagwell and Jacob Lewis have claimed a first for the Samford University debate program with their #10 ranking in the just-released National Coaches Poll.

“This is the highest that a Samford team has been ranked since the inception of the coaches’ poll,” said Samford coach Abi Williams.

Additionally, Samford as a debate school is ranked #9 in the nation, which is the highest ranking Samford has achieved in that category, according to Williams.

In addition to Samford, the top 10 team list includes debaters from University of Michigan, University of Oklahoma, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Gonzaga University, and Georgetown University. Last year’s national championship school, Northwestern University, is represented by three teams ranked 1, 4 and 6.

In the Coaches Poll, every collegiate debate coach in the nation is eligible to cast one ballot to rank the top 25  among the hundreds of eligible teams. The poll, in its third year, is conducted four to six times during the debate season.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.