Scott Deatherage, longtime director of the Northwestern University Debate Society, died Friday, Dec. 25 in Northwestern Memorial Hospital at age 47. The cause was a heart attack, according to a Northwestern University press release.
Deatherage, known as Duck, was arguably Northwestern’s most successful college policy debate coach in recent memory. Between 1991 and 2008, he led the NU debate team to seven national championships.
He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern and was a senior lecturer in the School of Communication.
In 2008, he was appointed executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues and left Northwestern to organize debate teams in inner-city high schools.
As of Wednesday, there were 108 messages posted to the Cross Examination Debate Association’s forum thread in memory of Scott Deatherage. One member wrote, “His passion and spirit was bigger than the game, and larger than life [...] Thank you for being a role model, an inspiration, a teacher, and a friend. Thank you that in your all too brief time, you found it within you to light a fire across generations.”
Details for memorial services are pending.