LD Squad Coaches
Sekou Cisse debated for Success Academy HS in NY, where he earned 8 career TOC bids. He won Harvard, the Byram Hills Invitational and RR, the Beltway fall classic, the Newark RR, the Berkeley RR, NYC Policy RR, Kandi King RR, and the Harrison RR. He was also a finalist at the Yale Invitational, Berkeley, Greenhill RR, Byram Hills, and the Newark RR. Lastly, he was top speaker at Harvard, Greenhill, the Glenbrooks, Emory, Berkeley, Yale, Byram Hills + RR, Kandi King RR, and placed in the top ten speakers at every national circuit tournament he attended. Sekou debates for Wake Forest University and has taught at three sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Jacob Nails debated LD for four years for Starr's Mill High School in Georgia, graduating in 2012. As a debater, he won the Georgia state tournament, cleared at NSDA nationals, and qualified to the TOC. As a policy debater in college, he cleared at ADA Nationals and was a repeat qualifier to the NDT. Jacob has coached students to championships at the Collegiate, Lexington, and Harvard round robins; late elim appearances at Apple Valley, Greenhill, and the NYC Invitational; and multiple elimination round appearances as well as top seed at the TOC. He has taught at fifteen sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Christian Fernando Quiroz is going into his fourth year at Rutgers as a philosophy major where he also debates. He is a McNair and HLLC scholar and debates for Rutgers where he attended the NDT as a freshman. In high school, Christian debated for Newark science where he attended the TOC twice, making it to semis and being awarded top speaker his senior year. He was also named co-champion at Berkeley and Scarsdale. He was also the winner of the Ridge tournament and the Newark Round Robin. During his career he made it to late elimination rounds at tournaments such as Harvard, Glenbrooks, and the NDCA. He has taught at thirteen sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Pacy Yan debated for four years (2014-2018) at Stuyvesant High School, qualifying to the TOC her senior year. She was the captain of her team and was novice director her junior year. Throughout her career, Pacy reached the bid round at Blake (twice), Newark (twice), Lexington (twice), Harvard, Penn (walkover), Yale, Emory, Columbia, and Glenbrooks, receiving bids at Lex and Newark. Pacy received speaker awards at Yale, Blake, Scarsdale, Newark, Ridge, Columbia, and Lexington. Throughout her career, she received invites to the Harrison, Newark, Byram, Apple Valley, and Harvard Round Robins. Pacy qualified to the NYS championship four times, reaching semis in varsity her junior year and finals in intermediate her sophomore year. She also qualified for and cleared at the Catholic Grands Nationals Tournament her junior year. Outside of debate, Pacy enjoys teaching and tutoring students, reading and writing, and music-related activities. Pacy has taught at three sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
LD Guest Seminar Leaders
Brianna Aaron debated for Newark Science (NJ) for six years and has participated in a variety of different debate formats 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 and finals 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, and being ranked as one of the top 3 debaters her senior year. She has also reached semifinals of NDCA, octafinals of TOC, and has obtained the Dukes and Bailey cup for year long excellence. Brianna has taught at three sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Devane Murphy is the VBI Director of Faculty Engagement. He 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 2018 VBI LA1 top lab, 2017 VBI LA 1 & LA 2 top lab, and 2017 NDA Frost Valley top lab. Devane has taught at eight sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Jake Nebel is an incoming Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. He holds degrees from Princeton and Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar, and is currently finishing his doctorate at New York University.
Jake debated for Trinity Prep in Winter Park, FL. He reached finals of Harvard (three times), Greenhill (twice), the Glenbrooks (twice), the New York City Invitational (twice), the Barkley Forum at Emory, Yale, the Bronx Round Robin, the MBA Round Robin, the VBT Round Robin, the Vassar Round Robin, the FFL State Championship, and NSDA Nationals—winning most of those. He was named Top Speaker at the Tournament of Champions, Greenhill, Harvard, the New York City Invitational (twice), the Bronx Round Robin (twice), Yale (twice), the Vassar Round Robin, the Crestian Classic, and the FFL State Championship.
As a coach, Jake's students have won the Tournament of Champions, the NDCA National Championship, the Dukes & Bailey Cup, the Glenbrooks, the Harvard Round Robin, the New York City Invitational, Emory, the TFA State Tournament, and other national, regional, and local championships. He has worked at thirty-one sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
SunHee Simon is a LD Curriculum Director 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 eight sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Nick Smith is the Squads Manager and Director of Growth at Victory Briefs. 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 twenty eight 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-four sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Marshall Thompson is the Director of Lincoln-Douglas Debate 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 twelve sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Kathy Wang debated for Stuyvesant High School from 2012 to 2016, breaking at several national bid tournaments and helping students through the transition to the national circuit as JV Director for her junior and senior years. She is currently a sophomore at NYU studying Computer Science and Social and Cultural Analysis. She also debates for the NYU Policy team, where so far she has broken and placed within the top 10 speakers for all but ½ of a tournament. Kathy remains fairly active within the high school LD circuit, judging frequently, and also designed the primary curriculum for Victory Briefs Classroom. She also coaches several independent students, who have either gotten bids or reached bid rounds at several different tournaments. Kathy has taught at ten sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.
Lawrence Zhou is a LD curriculum Director at Victory Briefs. Lawrence competed at Bartlesville HS in Oklahoma (2010-2014) in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In high school, he was the 2014 NSDA LD National Champion. He was also a three-time finalist and two-time champion of the Oklahoma State Tournament and placed 6th at NFL Nationals his junior year. He now attends the University of Oklahoma where he is a Management of Information Systems major and Philosophy minor. He is an assistant coach at The Harker School, a member of the OU Ethics Bowl Team where he placed as the National Runner Up at the 2018 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl National Competition, and debates on the OU Shannon Self Debate Program policy team where he advanced to outrounds at the 2016 and 2018 CEDA Tournament. Lawrence has taught at fifteen sessions of the Victory Briefs Institute.