School of Health Sciences / College of Arts and Sciences

Former OU forensics team coach inducted into Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated Hall of Fame

Charlie Rinehart, former coach of OU's forensics team, special lecturer/coordinator in OU's School of Health Sciences and special lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences, was honored at this year's Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated Spring Tournament and Conference.

icon of a calendarJuly 6, 2023

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Former OU forensics team coach inducted into Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated Hall of Fame
Charlie Rinehart
Charlie Rinehart, former coach of the OU forensics team, was recently inducted into the Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated Hall of Fame.

Red geraniums, yellow tulips and America’s longest porch served as the backdrop of a crowning achievement for Charlie Rinehart, former coach of the Oakland University forensics team, as he was recently inducted into the Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated Hall of Fame. 

The induction takes place each year in conjunction with the Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated (MSCI) Spring Tournament and Conference on Mackinac Island. Approximately 600 audience members, consisting of MSCI board members, parents, students and alumni, were on hand to celebrate the award, which recognizes success in coaching, as well as service to the speech community. 

When talking about his induction Rinehart stated that he is ”proud to be recognized for what I’ve given to this community and am honored to join those who came before me as Michigan Speech Coach Hall of Famers. People’s number one fear is public speaking; speech activities build confidence in students of all ages. Support from our institutions will only provide success for our students as they move beyond the classroom and apply all they’ve gained in their future endeavors. I think speech activities are extremely important and should be supported throughout the state. When we consider everything going on in the world, empowering people to speak is a necessary tool for positive growth as a culture and community.”

When speaking about Rinehart at his induction, MSCI member Jeff Butts said that “as my high school and college forensics coach, Charlie taught me essential lessons about public speaking, empathy, and compassion. As my college professor, Charlie has taught me about critical thinking and how to be an educated and good human being. And as my friend and mentor, Charlie has been a source of advice, and a shoulder to lean on.”

This year marks Rinehart’s 19th year of coaching. He began at Fitzgerald High School for two years. Rinehart then worked at Henry Ford II High School, coaching both forensics and debate, before moving on to Oakland University where he coached the forensics team until the program ended in 2019. Rinehart currently serves as a coordinator and special lecturer of Wellness and Health Promotion in OU’s School of Health Sciences, and a special lecturer in the Department of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations in OU's College of Arts and Sciences.

In his time coaching, his students have been state finalists and champions in forensics and debate at both the high school and college level. OU went to national tournaments in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, and California. Four former Oakland students are currently assisting high school forensics programs in the state at Walled Lake Western, Detroit Country Day, and Birmingham Groves. Two of these former students also served as graduate assistants to the OU forensics team.

Rinehart was in excellent company on stage at the Grand Hotel Theater. He received congratulations from MSCI President, Amy Janz, as well as from coaches throughout the state. 

The Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated serves approximately 8,200 students in 100 member schools throughout the state of Michigan. The organization strives to be of service to students, speech professionals, schools, and to larger communities through several conferences, activities, awards, scholarships and grants.

To learn more about the Michigan Speech Coaches Incorporated, visit

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