Meet the Coaching Staff
Concordia University Irvine is exceedingly proud of the men and women who comprise the coaching staff. Each week, these men and women give countless hours to students. Here is a little bit more about them.
Amanda Ozaki-Laughon – Director of Forensics
Amanda Ozaki-Laughon graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History and Political Thought from Concordia University Irvine in 2015. She debated on Concordia's debate team for four years, during which time they won the 2013 and 2015 NPDA Sweepstakes National Championship awards. She and her partner Richard Ewell were undefeated with an 8-0 record at the NPDA national tournament, where she also received the All-American Award for debate and scholastic achievement, as well as 5th place speaker at both the NPTE and NPDA national tournaments.
For the past four years, she has coached CUI debaters to Quarterfinal finishes (or better) each year, as well as placing 2nd (2016), 2nd (2017), 7th (2018) and 2nd (2019) at nationals. As Director of Forensics, she looks forward to harnessing her genuine love for people to lead Concordia Forensics forward.
Read more about Amanda
Tyler Watkins – Director of Individual Events
Tyler received both his Bachelor's and Master's from George Mason University, majoring in Political & Persuasive Communication; as well as Health & Strategic Communication. During his undergrad, Tyler competed on GMUs forensics team for 4 years. As a competitor, Tyler made it to outrounds at regional, national, and international levels. He was the 2015 IFA International runner-up in both After Dinner Speaking (ADS) and Prose Interpretation, as well as a national finalist in ADS at the 2015 AFA-NIET.
Tyler is now the Director of Individual Events at Concordia University, Irvine, where he has coached: 12 national finalists, 6 semi-finalists, 7 quarter-finalists, and 9 octo-finalists. With a recent top 7 finish at the 2019 National Forensics Association championship tournament, Tyler is excited to keep this momentum going!
Benjamin Lange – Director of Debate
Benjamin Lange graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences from Concordia University Irvine in 2019. He served as Team Captain for two years, leading his teammates to success in practices and at tournaments.He qualified for the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship tournament 4 years in a row, and finished 4th place at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. He was also awarded the Bovero Award for community service, and the All-American Award for demonstrated success in academics and debate.
Joe Laughon – Assistant Director of Debate
Joe Laughon is an alumus of Concordia's Forensics program who competed in parliamentary debate and individual events, placing as 7th speaker in at NPDA in 2013 and 10th place at Nationals. He is the assistant director of debate at Concordia Forensics, working especially with Lincoln Douglas Debate competitors.