Tyler Snelling

Head Debate Coach

Tyler started as the Debate Coach for the University of Iowa during the 2022 Summer. He completed a Master of Arts in Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in May 2017. Tyler began a doctorate in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa in fall 2017 and worked with the team as a graduate assistant coach for five years. This period included coaching teams to co-national champions at the 2018 CEDA National Debate Tournament plus semi-finalists at the 2019 and 2022 CEDA National Debate Tournament. He also coached multiple teams to elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament and other regional/national competitions. In 2021, he earned the title of Regional Critic of the year.


Tyler’s philosophy for the team begins from the assumption that debate should provide a co-curricular experience for undergraduates. This value means ensuring that all students have opportunities to grow by learning to argue, research, collaborate, and speak. The debate team succeeds when its members leave as careful thinkers who can grapple with major issues facing society. Tyler’s work provides opportunities for developing these skills by recruiting students, arranging travel, refining arguments, coordinating team practices, mentoring students toward academic and post-academic success, and assisting with fundraising.


Before starting his coaching career, Tyler competed for Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He received four bids to the Tournament of Champions, attended the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament twice, and won a Nebraska State Championship in policy debate. Tyler also qualified for the National Debate Tournament twice, won the D4 district tournament, and advanced to elimination rounds at Wake Forest, UMKC, and several regional tournaments.


Please feel free to reach out to Tyler with any questions about the program.