George Mason University Forensics


The GMU Forensics Team was founded by Margaret Duffner just before George Mason became a university. Margaret was instrumental both in coaching GMU's first few national champions and in establishing her guiding vision for the team. She wanted a program which was not only capable of being competitively successful, but which centered on education. That vision still guides the team, and is commemorated in our annual Margaret C. Duffner Award, given to the team member who best represents the goals and ideals of GMU Forensics.

Her chosen successor was Dr. Bruce "Doc" Manchester. Doc took over as director in 1975, and with the help of Dr. Sheryl "Docette" Friedley, began to build a legend. Over the next 18 seasons, Doc and Docette would help GMU win 18 consecutive East Coast Championships, 16 national "Top Five" rankings, and more than 9,500 awards. Their efforts brought GMU the AFA National Championship in 1979. Few schools can equal this success in any activity.

In 1993 Jim McCafferty took over as director and in 1996-97 he, in turn, passed the directorship on to Jim Kimble. Under Kimble's reign, the team finished twice in the top 5 at the National tournament. In addition, three AFA Individual Sweepstakes Champions have been GMU Forensics Team members. For the 2001-3 seasons, former team members Holly Sisk and Fairouz Fahema returned to direct this national caliber team.

The 2003-2004 season brought former University of Texas Director Peter Pober and Assistant Director Casey Garcia to GMU, where the team finished 4th at AFA Nationals and produced national individual sweepstakes champion Courtney Anderson. In 2006, Jason Warren joined the coaching staff as the new Assistant Director of Forensics. Most recently, Jeremy Hodgson has joined the 2010 coaching staff as the new Assistant Director of Forensics. The tradition of excellence continues with the team placing amongst the top ten programs at nationals 24 times in the past 32 years, including its most recent finish as 4th place at the 2011 University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Welcome to the continued tradition of GMU!

A listserv is available for Forensics alumni. E-mails are regularly sent regarding tournament results and important team news. To be added to the list, e-mail Jeremy Hodgson at