*** Information provided by the National Speech and Debate Association

RIPON, Wis. (February 10, 2016) – The National Speech & Debate Association is proud to announce the most recent winner of the Diamond Coach Award!

Donus D. Roberts has earned an Eleventh Diamond degree of membership for his efforts coaching at Watertown High School in Watertown, South Dakota. Donus is the first coach to receive this prestigious award in the ninety-one-year history of the National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society. Because of Donus, hundreds of students have had access to the benefits of speech and debate.

The National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society has been recognizing student and coach achievements in speech and debate since 1925. This prestigious diamond award recognizes a professional career that combines excellence and longevity in speech and debate.

Coaches earn distinction in the national honorary through team participation, student achievement, public service, and leadership work. To earn a diamond award, a coach must be a member of the National Speech & Debate Association for at least five years. Coaches earn additional diamond levels the more points they receive in the Honor Society. A coach who attains 1,500 points is awarded a first diamond; they receive a second diamond for 3,000 points, a third for 6,000 points, and so on. Five years must pass between each diamond award. Donus has earned an astonishing 31,181.9 points and has been coaching speech and debate for more than half a century.

Donus Roberts will be recognized at the world’s largest academic competition, the National Speech & Debate Tournament, in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 16, 2016. More than 7,000 students, coaches, and parents from across the nation attend the National Tournament every year.

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.5 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org.