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Isaiah McPeak

Isaiah_McPeak-squareIsaiah McPeak is a tech entrepreneur by day and debate coach by night. He has coached debate since 2003. Isaiah strongly believes that form (skill) and content (wisdom) are inseparable when teaching debate, and challenges students to learn patterns of thought that transfer to wisdom in life.

If there is no “real life” corollary to anything Isaiah says, challenge him for it as the best way to test the usefulness of debate. That’s why Ethos coaches are mostly part-time (like Isaiah), pursuing real-life excellence that helps them coach the subjectless-subject of rhetoric.

In the last ten years, Isaiah has been responsible for leading or forming each function of a business.

  • Led teams of 1 to 50, of all ages and experiences, in both products and services businesses and P&Ls
  • Managed and defined dozens of processes, from agile development to growth-hack marketing
  • Closed and delivered over 50 deals worth $40M, and assisted with 3 successful money raises
  • Coached national champion debaters, keynote speakers, CEOs, authors
  • Written over 250,000 words, published in blogs and a book, Upside Down Debate
  • Shipped 100+ product releases and 250+ features, including many of Isaiah’s UI designs
  • Personally consulted dozens of CEOs, from hostile sailor-mouths to the kind of leaders everyone should become


Isaiah has debated over 500 rounds, and keeps his multi-format debate skills sharp. Isaiah received a full debate scholarship to Patrick Henry College after placing 3rd at NCFCA nationals in 2004. Isaiah quickly became one of the most successful debaters and produced more research than the entire rest of the squad (30 people) combined, as intersecting debate arguments with real life literature has always been his passion in debate.

Isaiah also personally won at least one major college tournament in parli, LD-value, LD-policy, team-value, and team policy, as well as placing 5th in the nation in ACMA Moot Court. One year he partnered with his wife, Amy, for 4th in the nation at collegiate NEDA nationals.


Isaiah co-founded Vector speech and debate club in Purcellville, VA and coached the policy team for five years. The club won 100% of qualifiers and regional championships for two consecutive years, qualified 5 teams to nationals per year on average, and took home the NCFCA national championship in 2010 with the team of McPeak/Shipsey. The next year Vector took home the national title for the first Parli Invitational Tournament of Champions. Again in 2012-13, Isaiah helped co-found APEX (a national open club of excellence in Tampa, FL), who took home the national 1st place trophy in NCFCA Team Policy with the team of Ryan Collins/Johnny Bush.

As a college coach, Isaiah coached a squad of 60+ debaters at Patrick Henry College to over 25 tournament wins, including a national title in policy debate. Isaiah transformed the program into a leadership and debate program, competing in Team Value, Team Policy, LD Policy, LD Value, and NPDA Parli, with a thorough mentorship structure.

Isaiah is also co-founder of Ethos Debate Publications LLC, which published the most exhaustive policy sourcebook from 2006-2014. Ethos leads nationwide camps which around 300-400 students attend each summer. Isaiah has developed an atypical objective-driven curriculum that tosses out lecturing and seeks to apply modern theories of coaching with ancient theories of classical rhetoric for an experience- and commitment-driven approach to learning.


In “real life” Isaiah has started 6 organizations and was recently first employee at 2013 #1 Hot Social Media Startup (2013), 9Lenses. Isaiah’s job started there as data analyst and presenter, and led to product designer, director of marketing, Fortune 500 business consultant, and roles leading several ex-debaters to analyze data and guide over 40 small businesses and Fortune 500 business executives at HP, GE, Raytheon, and beyond. Previously he also was lead proposal writer and analyst (and interviewer, and solution developer) in building a new Homeland Security practice from 2 to over 30 people, securing DHS contracts worth over $30M. And before that was an intelligence analyst, logic and rhetoric and senior thesis teacher at a classical Christian school, and started a 17-piece swing band.

Most recently Isaiah is co-founder/CEO of statUP.com, which helps athletes earn stats that matter to coaches.


Isaiah lives in Austin, TX. He believes God is actually involved in history and your life, so you should talk to God and seek him in daily wisdom. He loves soccer, frisbee, disc golf, music, trumpet, bean bags and hammocks, theoretical discussions, strategy games, and his home-roasted coffee.


Book Isaiah for $125/hour or $4,000 for a season package.