When Newton High School wins a trophy for debate or forensics, there's always one man standing off to the side of the team picture — usually the left side. That is coach David Williams.
This week however, the cameras will be trained directly on him. Williams has been given quite an honor. The West Kansas Chapter of the National Speech and Debate Association announced April 4 the induction of David Williams, of Newton High School, into the West Kansas NSDA Hall of Fame.
"It is nice to recognized by my fellow coaches," Williams told The Kansan.
He said his career highlight was winning the class 5A state championship in debate. In 2013, Newton won the two-speaker event. He started his career in 1993 in Garden City when he took an assistant coaching position. He moved up to the head coaching position in 1994. In 2000, he moved to Newton.
"It started in theater," Willams said. "I learned about debate and forensics as an assistant and judge. I took college classes, but never competed myself. I wanted to prove to everyone that I can coach debate as well as acting."
The Hall of Fame honor is the highest recognition a speech and debate advisor can achieve in the West Kansas District Honor Society.
“This award, which is based on participation in the district, contributions to the district, service to the district, excellence in coaching and competition displays the tremendous dedication, effort and hard work that Mr. Williams has employed throughout his career,” said Megan Hagaman, West Kansas NSDA District Chair. “Our coaches in the Hall of Fame understand the importance of Speech and Debate activities to our students and schools, and they demonstrate the characteristics of effective leadership in abundance. David Williams understands the power of these activities to change lives, and has long been one of the greatest coaches in our District, State and in the Nation.”