Campus News

UK Debate Team National Champions Recognized at UK Basketball Game

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2020) ­— Last March, the University of Kentucky Debate Team of Dan Bannister and Anthony Trufanov defeated the University of Georgia to become the 2019 National Debate Tournament (NDT) champions. This was the second win at the NDT for UK and the first in 33 years. The previous winning team was Ouita Michel and David Brownell in 1986.

To make it to the final round with Georgia UK had to defeat some of the best teams in the country such as Northwestern, Cornell, Berkeley, Michigan and Kansas.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 4, men's basketball game at Rupp Arena, UK honored both Bannister and Trufanov, along with David Arnett the debate program director.

Most recently the UK Debate Team, housed in the College of Communication and Information, started their 2019-2020 season off strong by winning the three-day Hoosier Invitational, hosted by the University of Indiana. The UK team is now preparing for tournaments at the Naval Academy and the University of Texas-Austin as they continue to defend their national champion title.

You can follow the debate team at

(left to right) Anthony Trufanov, Dan Bannister, Dave Arnett (coach); Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
(left to right) Anthony Trufanov, Dan Bannister, Dave Arnett (coach); Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.