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Regional Debate Award Named in Honor of LSU Shreveport Faculty Member

January 31, 2012
Mary JarzabekThe Southern Forensic Championship Tournament has named an award on behalf of LSU Shreveport's Mary Jarzabek. The Southern Forensics "Jorji Jarzabek" Coach of the Year Award will be given to the region's coach of the year. Jarzabek was recognized for more than 20 years of coaching and service to the forensics community.

Jarzabek served as coach of the LSU Shreveport Debate Team for 17 years and held many offices in state and national forensics organizations. She has served as president of both the Louisiana Intercollegiate Forensics Association and the International Public Debate Association. Under her leadership, she and the LSUS team hosted several national tournaments at the LSU Shreveport campus. In 2003, Jarzabek coached the LSU Shreveport team to their first national tournament title.

Students from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss. approached current LSUS debate coach, Trey Gibson, with the idea of naming an award after Jarzabek in the fall of 2011. Gibson, who was also a former student of Jarzabek's, stated "The significance of this honor is that it was student-led. It shows that Jorji's impact as a leader, mentor and coach extends beyond the LSUS campus."

"Often we wait for someone to pass on and then begin to recognize their legacy. That's too late," said Destin Morris, the William Carey student who began the effort to name the award after Jarzabek.

The Southern Forensic Championships is a regional tournament made up of teams from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The first recipient of the 2012 Southern Forensics "Jorji Jarzabek" Coach of the Year Award went to Anthony McMullen of the University of Central Arkansas.


Media Contact: Trey Gibson, 318.797.5081 ( Mary Jarzabek, 318.797.5318 (

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