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Ethos has a legacy.

I have had the privilege of teaching and debating with members of the “old guard” ethos, so when I sit down to write out my qualifications for this job, I realize how many talented and phenomenal debaters have inhabited this company and I am in awe of the legacy they’ve left behind.

Don’t jump to conclusions, however. I humbly proffer that many amazing debaters have come and gone through Ethos (some of which are much more talented at debate than I am/was). Make no mistake. I am qualified for this job. There is almost nothing I love more in this world than a round of structured debate in front of a lively audience.

Rest assured that if you come to be taught at Ethos, you will receive nothing but the best teachings of both the Old guard and the New guard. That is my promise to YOU.

Some or most would take this opportunity to (rightly so) tell the best parts of their debate career in order to impress the audience. I’m not here to tell you how good of a debater I am, I am here to gain your trust and your continued support of Ethos.

Who am I?

My name is Thaddeus Tague and this my story:

If you want to know the cold stats of my high-school career, just look up my name in speechranks.com under the 2012/13 year. I debated a little bit the year before but it was a building year more than anything else.

I did 6 events on a regular basis in high school and usually broke in most or all of them. Parli wasn’t my strong suit; I flourished in speech and team policy. During the 2012-2013 season, I was five ballots away from picket-fencing the year in persuasive. Thus ended my short-lived career in high school speech and debate.

I attended Patrick Henry College and participated in British Parliamentary. I had intermittent success on the international BP circuit, breaking many times and had the privilege to debate at several ivy leagues, against some of the smartest people I have ever met.

Also – once, a buddy of mine, Jacob Vaness, and I registered for an NPDA tournament just for kicks and giggles. We wanted to see what all the hype was. We went 8-1 and won the tournament.

During this period, I coached for Ethos (summer camps, 2014,15), as well as a local VA debate club called Vector. While at Vector, I helped the teams maintain their Virginia dominance, and we had the top ranked TP and Parli teams in the state, 3 years running.

I represent a unique position in the Ethos staff. I interacted for years with not only Isaiah, but Chloe Snyder, the Voell brothers, Lydia Bode, Ty Harding, Ryan Collins, Benjamin Griffith, Josiah McPeak, and so on. Insofar as total cumulative debate talent and knowledge, I am not sure that squad will ever be beaten. If Aliens came to earth and challenged humans to a debate that determined the survival of the entire human race – I’d trust any two of those names to win, and make the audience laugh while they did it.

And yet, that is not the peak of Ethos. Ethos has never before had so much young talent in the company. The associate coaches we have now are amazing, and as they grow in experience and knowledge, you can only expect to hear even better things. I love coaching debate, and I live for the lightbulb moments that students sometimes get. Ethos is one of my passions.

What am I like outside of debate? (Warning: boring normal bio paragraph ahead). I live and work in southern California, specifically the San Diego area. My degree is in Public Administration from Liberty University, and in the fall I will enter their MPA program. I currently work for an insurance firm, as well as surf on the weekends.

What’s Next for Ethos?

Now to answer the million dollar question. What is Ethos doing next? Here it is:

  • Pre- Nationals coaching sessions! More on this later – but we want to make sure that you ( and your club) are as ready for nationals as is possible.
  • Coaching: Ethos will continue all coaching contracts until after respective league nationals. At that time, Ethos coaches will provide 1-3 (as necessary) post season coach/students meetings. After this period, Ethos will require both individual students and Ethos XL members to renew if they wish to continue. What does that mean? Shoot Emily an email, letting her know that you (or your club) would like to pursue ethos coaching next year.
  • Camps: Are being scheduled right now, and locations will be added to the website soon. Stay tuned.
  • Sourcebook? We aren’t planning on it this year, as publishing a sourcebook usually requires multiple eager researchers (who are overworked and underpaid), as well as the sacrifice of a purple unicorn. I am still turning the idea over in my head, but pretty sure the soonest we will publish anything is the Winter mid-season update in 2017
  • Workshops? We will be doing more of these for sure. It’s like a big group coaching session with a great speaker we can all learn from. Ethos fellows, Ethos Coaches, or prominent connections will be leading these online discussions, and registration will be affordable! In fact, we’ve got one out right now on refining your rhetoric led by Ph.D. Professor James Tallmon! Check it out!
  • Ethos Blog: Our blog team has done a phenomenal job in past months of ensuring consistent, quality content. We’ll be slowing down a bit over the transition period and cut back from posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and move towards posting ever Tuesday and Friday. Drew Magness will be heading up the blog. Around or during summer, we will go back to our typical 3 posts a week schedule.
  • New Email: We’ve discontinued ethosdebate@gmail.com. Send all your emails with questions, concerns, or suggestions to contact@ethosdebate.com

The Vision:

During my high school years, I joined a club called CONTROL.

CONTROL had a stranglehold on team policy nationals finals for 4 years in a row. Granted they only won one out of those four, but there was an implicit promise when I joined CONTROL. I will either be a national champion or put in enough hours to justify  the claim, “ I could have been a national champ.”

As a coach, I impart that same mentality. Ethos will give you the tools, all you need is the grit.

Let’s continue a legacy of truth, passion, and excellence together.

In great anticipation,

Thaddeus Tague


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