SearchDirectoriesHelpSite MapHome
Wake Forest University

News Releases

Ross K. Smith, award-winning debate coach at Wake Forest, dies unexpectedly

July 20, 2009

Ross K. Smith, the award-winning director of debate who led Wake Forest University’s debate team to a national championship in 2008, died unexpectedly July 19 in Winston-Salem.  He was 54.

Smith, who became a debate coach at Wake Forest in 1984, was named national debate coach of the year in 1994 and 1998.  A Wake Forest graduate, he has qualified more teams to the elimination rounds in debate competition than any other coach in the nation.

Smith received the 2009 George Ziegelmueller Award, a top award presented by the National Debate Tournament which recognizes long-term career contributions to the national debate community.  He was named director of the debate program two years ago.

Service arrangements will be announced by the university as soon as they are available.    A guestbook has been created on the university Web site at

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

Search News Archive

Wake Forest University • Winston-Salem, North Carolina • Information: 336.758.5000 | Feedback