Previous research in the field has documented the many aspects of coaching difficulties faced by forensic teams (Chouinard & Kuyper, 2010; Louis, 2011; Outzen, 2016; White, 2005 & 2010). While research in this area is necessary to understand the struggles associated with a coaching change and the impact it has on team culture, little research has been done to analyze how the students are affected by the shift in coaches and the changing culture of the team. This thesis examines how collegiate forensics competitors navigate these difficult transitions in an activity that heavily influences the creation of close relationships between competitors and coaches. A mixed-methods approach was utilized including quantitative surveys (n = 19) and qualitative interviews (n = 11) with participants who competed in collegiate forensics within the past four years. Participants indicated varying experiences in the aftermath of a coaching change. While many noted feeling happy with the team under their new coach, lingering feelings of abandonment and a lack of understanding revealed the need to address the topic further in the field of forensics research.


Justin J. Rudnick

Committee Member

Katie Brunner

Committee Member

Kiersten Hensley

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Program of Study

Forensics & Communication


Arts and Humanities



Rights Statement

In Copyright