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Marc Davis is the head coach and owner of Ethos Debate.
He began debate two decades ago in the NCFCA, participating in team policy and various speech events for 6 years. He qualified to nationals in TP and extemp, taking 4th and 10th in the latter. He thrived in college debate, where he competed for Grove City College for three years, winning numerous tournaments, including the 2010 National Christian College JV national tournament and the 2011 Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. However, he’s most proud of reaching octofinals at the 2012 US Universities Debating Championship, where he competed against graduate and undergraduate competitors from Yale, Cornell, University College Dublin, and other top schools.
Since then, Marc has been coaching speech and debate all across the country, from Hawaii to New Hampshire, helping hundreds of students, including the 2019 NCFCA National Champions. Outside of debate, he runs The Thoughtful Gamer, where he writes and podcasts about modern board games. He also enjoys cooking, movies, and golf of both the normal and disc varieties.
“I believe speech and debate are primarily thinking activities. The presentational aspects are in service of the ideas. So if we don’t know how to prepare a good argument we will never be able to deliver one.
I believe in fundamentals. If you have me as a coach we will be spending a lot of time on organization, preparation, and sound reasoning. There are no short-cuts in speech and debate, and even if there were they wouldn’t be worth doing because there’s no short-cut to quality argumentation.
I believe in curiosity. Too many people learn labels and become overly confident, relying on shallow, fancy-sounding arguments. We need to be constantly questioning “why” to understand the core of our arguments.
I believe in humility. To think well, you have to accept that, right now, you may be wrong. By doing so you open yourself up to the opportunity to improve. Learning is a continuous process, one you don’t ever finish.
I believe in speech and debate. They’re the best activities I’ve ever participated in and they shaped the course of my life. The world desperately needs people who can engage with ideas humbly and deeply, something speech and debate teach remarkably well.”
To be honest, some of Marc’s competitive accomplishments happened so long ago they’re now lost to time (not even the internet archive remembers). Here’s what was discoverable:
2008 NCFCA Nationals: 4th place, Extemporaneous
2009 NCFCA Nationals: 10th place, Extemporaneous
2009/10 season: won most tournaments entered in NPDA novice/JV divisions, including at least one where he didn’t lose a single ballot
2010 National Christian College JV Nationals winner
2011 Pi Kappa Delta Nationals winner
2012 US Universities Debating Championship (Worlds-style Parli) octofinalist
Has coached for over 10 years, across the country, helping hundreds of students pursue their goals, whatever they may be.