The debate team consists of students and coaches

The Team

Students

Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. He transferred to UNLV in fall 2017 from George Mason University where he debated for two years. Last year at UNLV he made it to elimination rounds at multiple tournaments in the JV division and moved into competing in the varsity division. After graduation, Joe hopes to attend a top-tier law school and eventually work to improve the U.S. Legal system.

Simon Lamsal

Simon Lamsal

Simon Lamsal is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. Simon is also an international student from Nepal. He started his debating journey in Nepal during high school where competed in World Schools Debate (WSDC) and British Parliamentary debate formats for two years. Simon reached the finals of the National Debate Fest in his home country, which motivated him to continue his debating journey in America. Simon looks to improve a lot in the policy debate circuit at UNLV and aspires to become a successful software developer.

Stephanie LeClaire-Vazquez

Stephanie LeClaire-Vazquez

Stephanie LeClaire-Vazquez is a sophomore, majoring in Management Information Systems. She attended Palo Verde High School in Summerlin, Nevada where she competed in policy debate for three years. As a high school debater, Stephanie participated in the UNLV Debate Team’s Las Vegas Debate League meets and she attended the Rebel Debate Institute two years in a row. In her first year at UNLV Stephanie was recognized as the top individual speaker in the JV division at both the Weber State University tournament and the UNLV tournament. Stephanie and her partner advanced to the semifinals at UNLV and they were crowned JV tournament champions at Weber State.

Joshua Padilla

Joshua Padilla

Joshua Padilla is a sophomore enrolled in the UNLV Honors College majoring in Civil Engineering. He debated for 2 years in Lincoln-Douglas and occasionally in Congressional debate at Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joshua hopes to find success in debate and further improve his communication skills to help him to succeed in the future.

Madeline “Max” Reese

Madeline “Max” Reese

Madeline “Max” Reese is a frosh majoring in English and minoring in the Brookings Public Policy Program and Spanish. Reese debated for four years at McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada. In that time they qualified to the National Speech and Debate Association National Championship Tournament twice. Reece also was named top speaker at the Arizona State University invitational two years in a row. In their senior year, Reece and their debate partner advanced to the out-rounds of every major national tournament they attended, and they advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Tournament of Champions.

Allie Ryerson

Allie Ryerson

Allie Ryerson is a sophomore enrolled in the UNLV Honors College majoring in Economics and Accounting and minoring in the Brookings Public Policy Program. Ryerson attended Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada where she competed in public forum debate for one year and policy debate for three years. She participated in Las Vegas Debate League throughout her high school career and attended the Rebel Debate Institute in the summer of 2016. During her senior year of high school, Ryerson and her partner finished in fourteenth place, out of more than 200 teams, at the National Speech and Debate Association National Championship Tournament. Following graduation, Ryerson hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in tax law.

Coaching Staff

Jacob Thompson

Jacob Thompson debated at Wayne State University (B.A., 1999), where he learned the value of a great coaching staff, a personal dedication to hard work, and the transformative power of practice. While debating for Wayne State, Thompson competed in the elimination rounds of the NDT and several major national tournaments. After debating at Wayne State, he worked for five years as an assistant debate coach at the University of Kansas, where he also completed his M.A. and Ph.D. (2006). Working at Kansas reinforced his lessons from Wayne State, but also gave him unique insight into argument and coaching strategy. Thompson then worked for three years as the director of forensics at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). In 2005, he coached the UNI debate team to be ranked as the "Most Improved University Debate Team in America".

Thompson took the position as the director of debate at UNLV in 2007, creating the UNLV Debate Team from the ground up. In his decade at UNLV, the team has had amazing successes, and has steadily improved year after year. The UNLV Debate Team is now consistently ranked among the top ten policy debate programs in the nation. The team has become a national powerhouse with the capability to win multiple national championships. In 2018 Thompson was awarded The “George Ziegelmueller Coaching Excellence Award” by the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament.

In addition, Thompson is committed to expanding access to policy debate for students throughout the Clark County School District. In 2011, he created the Las Vegas Debate League (LVDL) and LVDL Advisory Board. In its short existence, the LVDL has successfully attracted thousands of dollars in external support, has resuscitated policy debate in the CCSD, and continues to add CCSD middle and high schools to the ranks of those that field policy debate teams. Thompson also directs the program's summer debate camp for middle and high school students. Generally speaking, his scholarly interests lie in the areas of argumentation, political campaign debates, and U.S. foreign policy rhetoric. Overall, with the help of the rest of our amazing coaching staff, Thompson hopes that UNLV will consistently be one of the most competitive debate programs in America.

Tom Gliniecki

Tom Gliniecki

Tom Gliniecki returns as the Assistant Director of the team for his third year, after UNLV’s most competitively successful season to date. He received his undergraduate degree in International Relations while debating for Michigan State University, and went on to earn his Master’s in Communication Studies from UNLV. After gaining coaching experience working with the debate team at Dartmouth College and the National Debate Tournament semifinalist team at Michigan State University, he returned to UNLV to help the Rebels compete at the highest levels of the activity.

Matthew Gomez

Matthew Gomez

Matthew Gomez is a joins the UNLV coaching staff after a highly successful undergraduate debate career at UNLV. the Political Science department as an M.A. candidate and an assistant debate coach. This is Matthew’s 11th year involved in policy debate, after having debated at Bingham High School, Weber State University, and four years at UNLV. Matthew qualified for the National Debate Team three times as a Rebel, reaching the elimination rounds twice, including the quarterfinals at the 2018 NDT. Together with his partner, Matthew finished his senior year as the third highest ranked individual team in the nation. He is excited to return to the teach as a coach and help them aim for even higher success.