LD Squad Coaches
LD Guest Seminar Leaders
Nick Smith is the Squads Manager and the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum at VBI. He studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He was the Director of Debate at Hopkins for four years, a coach at St. Thomas Academy & The Visitation School, in addition to privately coaching several students. He now is the head coach at Apple Valley High School. His students have won multiple state championships, reached late elimination rounds at many major national tournaments, received numerous round robin invitations, and have frequently qualified to the TOC, NSDA Nationals, NDCA Nationals, and NCFLs. Nick has worked at thirty one sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Brianna Aaron is currently a Policy debater at Wake Forest University. She debated for Newark Science (NJ) for six years, ranging from Policy to Lincoln-Douglas to Worlds School. Over her two and a half year participation in Lincoln-Douglas, she has amassed 10 LD TOC bids and has reached elims of various national tournaments. Her most notable achievements are championing the 2017 Glenbrooks Invitational and round robin, the 2016 Holy Cross round robin, the 2017 Blake Invitational, reaching quarterfinals of TOC as a junior, attaining Top 12 at the 2017 NSDA nationals, She has also reached semifinals of NDCA, octafinals of the TOC, and has obtained the Dukes and Bailey cup for year long excellence. Brianna has taught at VBI for 2 summers.
Areas of Expertise: Kritik Debate, Ethos
Anthony Berryhill is the Managing Director at Victory Briefs. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, is an alumnus of Yale’s Ph.D. Program in Political Theory and holds an M.B.A. Anthony was a Learning and Development Manager for GLG, a company which helps the world's largest business institutions (hedge banks, private equity firms, Top 3 management consulting firms) do research. At GLG Anthony created and lead the company’s first large-scale onboarding, diversity/inclusion and operational training programs.
As a debate coach Anthony has coached TOC champions (most recently in International Public Forum in 2017) and late elim round participants at NCFL and NSDA. Most recently, Anthony coached a two-time NSDA LD qualifier in LD (14th in 2018, 8th in 2019) who was also the Oregon State Champion in LD.
As a competitor Anthony qualified to national championships in LD, Extemp and Senate Legislative Debate his senior year. Most recently Anthony was named the 2018 "America's Greatest Thinker" by winning the national Great American Think-Off, a national annual written and oral debate philosophy competition run by the New York Mills Cultural Center in Minnesota. As a coach Anthony specializes in contemporary critical theory, strategic case writing/construction, argument analysis, refutation (esp. re: kritiks) and the psychology of debate strategy.
Devane Murphy is Assistant Managing Director at Victory Briefs. Devane is a former debater for Rutgers-Newark and Newark Science. With Rutgers Newark, Devane won the 2017 CEDA National Championship and the 2017 NDT. He also was the top Speaker of the 2017 NDT. Devane has coached on the college and high school level and has coached multiple qualifiers to the TOC, CEDA nationals, the NDT and debaters to late elimination rounds at national tournaments throughout the season. Devane has taught at both LD and policy labs including 2017 VBI LA 1/2 top lab and 2017 NDA Frost Valley top lab.
Jake Nebel is Executive Director of Victory Briefs, a PhD candidate in philosophy at New York University, and (starting fall 2019) assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California. Before coming to NYU, he was an undergraduate at Princeton and a graduate student at Oxford. As a coach, his students have won the TOC, NDCA, the Dukes & Bailey Cup, the Glenbrooks, the Harvard RR, Bronx, Emory, TFA State, and other national, regional, and local championships. As a debater, he won the Glenbrooks (twice), Greenhill (twice), Harvard, Emory, Bronx, the Bronx Round Robin, the MBA Round Robin, the VBT Round Robin, and the FFL State Championship, was in finals of NSDA Nationals, and was top speaker at the TOC, Greenhill, Harvard, Bronx (twice), the Bronx Round Robin (twice), Yale (twice), the Vassar Round Robin, the Crestian Classic, and the FFL State Championship. He attended VBI three times as a student and has worked at 31 sessions.
SunHee Simon is Director of LD at VBI. She has participated in debate since the 7th grade and has been a championship debater in both Lincoln Douglas and Policy Debate. In 2015, she was one of only two people to qualify to the Tournament of Champions in CX and LD. Her freshman year at Stanford University--where she now attends--she earned the semifinal title at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national tournament. As a coach, she has helped her students get to late elims and finals of national tournaments like the Glenbrooks, NDCA, Berkeley, Emory, and the TOC. SunHee has taught at eleven sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Chris Theis is Executive Director of Victory Briefs. He currently coaches for his alma mater, Apple Valley High School (MN). He has previously coached students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (CA), Trinity Preparatory School (FL), Winston Churchill (TX). He currently sits on the National Debate Coaches Association’s Executive Committee, the National Speech & Debate Association Lincoln-Douglas Topic Wording Committee, and the Tournament of Champions (TOC) Lincoln-Douglas Committee.
As a coach, his students have consistently reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions, and have placed in the top 6 of the NSDA National Tournament. His students have won nearly every major invitational tournament (some multiple times) including: Harvard, Greenhill, Stanford, the Minneapple, Emory, CPS, Lexington, Loyola, Damus, the Greenhill Round Robin, and others.
As a competitor, he was one of only three juniors to ever win the Tournament of Champions and is the only person to win the tournament twice. He was the champion of Blake, Emory, the Iowa Round Robin twice, the Greenhill Round Robin twice, and St. Marks twice. Chris was also a semi finalist at Greenhill and the Glenbrooks, and a finalist at Berkeley. Chris was a four year qualifier to the NSDA National Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas, U.S. Extemp Speaking, and Congressional Debate. Chris has worked at thirty-seven sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Marshall Thompson is the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum at Victory Briefs. He is is currently pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Florida State University, having previously received a bachelors degree in philosophy from Wheaton College. A large portion of Marshall's academic studies focuses on the science and practice of effective teaching. Marshall has been successful both as a debater and coach; in recent years he has coached debaters to win major national tournaments (such as the Bronx Invitational) and reach late out rounds at many others (including twice reaching finals of the TOC). Marshall is an experienced camp instructor having both taught and developed curriculum at multiple camps for years. Marshall has taught at fifteen sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Darius White competed in high school policy debate for four years at C.E. Byrd high school in Shreveport, Louisiana. After graduating high school, they spent two years coaching for Lafayette high school and within that second year they advanced to six Tournament of Champions (T.O.C) elimination rounds. Upon their graduation, they transferred to South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) and there they served as the Student Government Association for a year. After a year and a half at SLCC he transferred to the University of Oklahoma and has received the recognition of being: Winner of CEDA College Championship, A top sixteen collegiate debater in the 2016-2017, Double Octofinalist appearance of National Debate Tournament (NDT) while also receiving the 17th speaker, Quarter finalist appearance at UMKC, Semifinalist of Gonzaga, the Double Octofinalist of Wake, DoubleOctofinalist of USC, Quarter finalist of Fullerton, and Octofinalist of Northwestern all within their first year of debating in the college circuit. 2017-2018 they were the Semifinalist of the first half of the UC Berkeley tournament and Double Octofinalist of the second half of the UC Berkeley tournament while also walking away with the 18th speaker. He is excited to return to VBI as an instructor!
Areas of Expertise: Policy Arguments, Kritik Debate, Ethos, Research
Lindsey Williams debated for four years at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon. During that time, she reached out rounds at a number of top tournaments on the west coast, including Berkeley, University of Puget Sound, Lewis and Clark, Meadows, and Central Valley. She also won and took top speaker at numerous local tournaments, including three state championships in IEs. As of writing this, she has qualified three times to NSDA Nationals and once to the TOC, making her the second student in her school's history to do so; prior to graduation, she served as captain of the Sprague debate team and designed the curriculum for local debate seminars, coaching both progressive and traditional LD. This will be her first year teaching at VBI.