Lafayette College employs full-time coaches to guide its award-winning forensics program.  The coaches work with the students one-on-one and in groups to prepare them for competition.

Scott Placke – Director of Forensics Activities
(610) 330 – 5802


Scott Placke is proud to have coached at Lafayette College since the fall of 2000.  He became the Director of Forensics in 2003.  During his time at Lafayette, he has coached national out-round competitors (including champions) in all three genres.  In 2019 one of his competitors, Saeed Malami, was named the champion of the Interstate Oratory Association’s tournament.  This is the longest running oratorical competition in North America and Saeed is the first finalist from Lafayette College and the first ever winner from Pennsylvania. In addition to coaching, Scott has served as the Executive Secretary and President of the Pennsylvania Forensic Association, and is currently the Executive Secretary PFA.  He has served on the Executive Committee for the Novice National Tournament and the Extemporaneous and Impromptu (as chair) Committees for the National Forensic Association.  Scott is a lover of bbq and all forms of Asian dumplings.  His favorite moment in forensics is the opening of the little black book.  The relationships he has developed with his students mean everything to him; he is sure they will do great things in this crazy world of ours.


Alexis Hughes – Assistant Director of Forensics

Alexis is a newcomer to the Lafayette team. She has experience competing at Hofstra, as well as coaching at West Chester.  At Hofstra, Alexis won 1st and 3rd place at two different Pi Kappa Delta tournaments in interpretive events, as well as was an out-rounder at AFA and NFA in 2021, making her the first Hofstra student ever to make it to semifinals at the American Forensics Association National tournament.  She placed 12th in the country.  At West Chester, she helped coach numerous Pi Kappa Delta finalists and a champion in prose interpretation. She has been coaching speech and debate long before West Chester with the American Debate League, where she also coached a state champion in Original Oratory.


John Boyer – Debate Coach


John Boyer began his debate career as a policy debater at Hudson High School in Ohio.  From there he competed all four years at Otterbein College in NFA-LD before deciding to become a coach at Central Michigan University.  After pitstops at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Notre Dame, John has been settled at Lafayette since the fall of 2005.  In that time, the debaters have placed in the top five as a group at nationals SEVEN times and five different debaters have reached the semi-final round, two of whom advanced to the national final round.  John has also served on the national NFA-LD committee and was the firs elected member of the NFA national council as the chair of the NFA-LD committee.  In 2016, John was elected to the NFA Hall of Fame for his life long contributions to the activity and his success as a competitor.  John currently serves as the Vice President for Tournament Administration for NFA.