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Remembering William "Bill" Bennett

Remembering Coach William "Bill" Bennett (August 2nd 1945-April 10th, 2020). Not sure if there is anyone in the speech and debate world who hasn’t read or come across a book written by Bill Bennett. Indeed, I do not think there is a more prolific writer and author in the speech and debate community. I remember his books when I was on my high school speech and debate team. I used his books as a school teacher for my speech and debate team! He wrote hundreds and books and articles on speech and debate. In his spare time he coached national champions and ran summer debate camps which produced 30 national champions and three world champions. You would think he never left his classroom… but he also visited all 50 states and 100 countries and recently planning another trip to Africa. Learn more about his incredible debate and speech coach and individual -

William (Bill) Bennett World travelers and bridge players everywhere mourn the death of William (Bill) Bennett who died on April 10th after a long battle with cancer.  Bill was born on August 2nd, 1945 in Upland, California, the first son of Marjorie (Millard) and Archie Bennett.  At an early age he moved to Palmdale, California where he graduated from high school. Bill found his professional passion while attending the University of Denver in speech communication  He went on to earn his master's degree at Northwestern University.  In 1969 he founded Championship Debate Enterprises (CDE) of which he was the owner until he sold the business in 2010.  While owning CDE he wrote and published hundreds of textbooks and articles on shigh school  speech and debate subjects which were sold to schools nationwide.  Bill and CDE also ran summer camps for high school debaters and extemporaneous speakers which produced 30 national champions and three world champions.  Bill coached at St. Michael's from 1980-1986 where he coached two national champions and five national finalists.  He coached the only two students from the same school in the history of the National Speech and Debate Tournament to "close out" the final round of Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1986. Upon moving to Taos in 1990, Bill coached debate and extemporaneous speaking at Taos High School where his student, Isaac Potter won the national championship in extemporaneous speaking in 2000.  His friend and colleague, Noel Trujillo, the former speech coach of Los Alamos HS said, " If there was ever a better coach in extemp,  I don't know who it would be." In addition to speech and debate, Bill was an avid traveler, having visited all 50 states and 100 foreign countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.  At the time of his death he was looking forward to another tour of Africa.  Bill was also a member of the Taos Bridge Club which he enjoyed immensely.  He also served on the board of the Friends of the Taos Public Library. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and two younger brothers.  He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 42 years, Cat.  He is also survived by his daughter Jasmine (Zach) Cecelic and two grandchildren, Zea and Mays.  He is also survived by his sister Margaret Matjeka of Boise, Idaho as well as five nieces and nephews. No funeral or memorial service is planned, bit those wishing to remember Bill should send donations to either the Salvation Army or Wildhood Farm, PO Box 480, Truchas, NM 87578.



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