Prospective Recruits of the Gonzaga Debate Team

Legendary debate coach Dr. Al Louden wrote that, “Deciding to continue debate, selecting the most appropriate program, and knowing which college or university to attend are among the most difficult decisions facing high school students following graduation. Far too often these important decisions are also the least informed.”

For any potential debater, the decision to debate in college, and more importantly where to debate is one of the biggest decisions of their lives to that point. We hope this page provides you and your family with the information you’ll need to make an informed decision and determine if Gonzaga Debate is right for you.

Below are the answers to frequently asked questions we receive from prospective recruits.


What debate formats does the team participate in?
GU Debate participates in policy style debate as sponsored by the National Debate Tournament, the Cross Examination Debate Association and the American Debate Association. Recently, we have also participated in PNW/CARD debate, which is research focused policy debate, but which is designed for a public audience and geared towards lowering barriers to access for students with little to no experience.

2023 National Debate Tournament Awards Banquet

What is the college’s support for the debate program?
Debate at Gonzaga is a deeply rooted tradition at the University and within the College of Arts and Sciences. That support is reflected in the resources committed to our team. The university pays for all students travel expenses at tournaments including hotel, entry fees, meals, and transportation. In addition, the university provides the team with a large, fully furnished house that we base our operations from, and two full-time coaches.

What tournaments does the team attend?
A traditional schedule includes tournaments such as Northwestern University, University of Kentucky, Weber State University, Harvard University, Wake Forest University, University of Minnesota, The U.S. Naval Academy, University of Texas, ADA Nationals, and the National Debate Tournament among others.

Who coaches?
GU Debate has two full time policy debate coaches who are active in argument development and research in addition to extensive work with students in the theory and practice of competitive debate.

  • Glen Frappier, Director of Debate
  • Jason Regnier, Assistant Director of Debate

What financial aid is available?
Gonzaga offers partial scholarships of varying amounts. Our scholarships are merit based and they must be earned each year. Students who work hard, are outstanding team citizens, and demonstrate improvement and success often see scholarship amounts increase as they continue through their college career. Incoming students are considered for these scholarships and are based on previous success in HS debate, and potential for success in college. Students with 3 or more years of high school experience in CX/policy debate are given preference for those awards. We also have federal work study positions for students who qualify for those awards.

What kind of time investment does the team require?
College debate requires a sustained commitment and work ethic. You can expect approximately 12 hours per week of regularly scheduled practice, in addition to whatever individual work you put in outside of meetings times to work on research and generally improve your craft.

What do Gonzaga debaters major in? What do they do after graduation?
GU debaters represent a wide variety of majors including Political Science, Philosophy, International Relations, Communication Studies, Philosophy, History, Computer Science, and many more.

While most of our students have majors within the College of Arts and Sciences, we routinely have had students from Engineering, Education, and Business as well.

Our graduates go into a diverse range of professions. While many go on to successful careers as attorneys, many have gone onto success in politics, business, and academia.

Please feel free to follow up with the Director, Glen Frappier at with any additional questions.

Want to connect with Gonzaga Debate?

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502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258