Speech Team

Bradley University is home to the most successful speech team in the nation and is the only team to win a national championship every decade since 1980. Bradley boasts more than 40 national speech championships since 1978 (that’s nearly 60 percent of all competitions), more than 20 American Forensic Association national titles since 1980, more than 150 individual national championships and in spring 2018, the team captured its 18th consecutive state championship. Bradley's team is the most successful collegiate team of any kind, according to the Associated Press. To put this into perspective, Bradley has more speech team titles than Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky combined in men's basketball.

The program at Bradley has been one of the most respected in the country for decades. University leadership remains committed to the forensics team and committed to maintaining our legacy of success. We are focused on providing students with a safe and secure environment to showcase their talents and supplying them with exciting opportunities that will enhance their overall college experience.

Bradley is also home to two of the largest collegiate tournaments in the nation. In addition, the George Armstrong Heart of Illinois High School Tournament provides $40,000 in scholarship funds to future speech team members through the Jay Janssen Oratorical Contest. You can learn more about the team, the history and how to get involved on this website.


ways BUST approaches forensics


We believe the well-being of students is more important than their competitive success. While our students have to sacrifice many of their weekends to compete, and miss some classes for nationals, we value your mental health, your well-being, and your happiness above all else.


We don’t use a star system. Students are viewed equally and we do our best not to promote favoritism in coaching/instruction. You can choose what events you do, how many and we’ll help you from the start. We pride ourselves in dedicating as much time to novices as we do the seniors.


We seek to produce well-rounded students. Many of the students on the team are involved in other students organizations and activities on campus. You might hear in college speech you have to “sell your soul” to be good or a valid member of the team. That’s not true here.


We are process-driven and focus on learning first, and competitive success second. Our weekly practices cover concepts that all students can incorporate into their performances and classwork. Learning is at the core of everything we do. Our coaching staff will challenge you with thought-provoking questions and methods to ensure you are prepared for every tournament.


We have an amazing alumni-base and supportive university. BUST alums can be found in Peoria, Chicago and around the country making a difference in their professions. They are well-connected with the team and we rely immensely on their support. The Communication Department and the campus as a whole also values our team and supports what we do.