Jay Rye first became involved with Speech & Debate as a high school competitor in 1985, and has served as the Director of Speech & Debate at The Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama, since 1991. As a competitor for and graduate of the University of Alabama, Jay was the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from Delta Sigma RhoTau Kappa Alpha, the collegiate honor society for speech education. As a five-diamond coach, he served as the District Chair of the Deep South District from 1999 – 2017 having received the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards for District Chair Service as well as being named District Chair of the Year in 2009. In 2007 he was elected a Key Coach of the Barkley Forum at Emory University in Georgia and in 2009 was the recipient of the Bronx Achievement Award by the Bronx High School of Science in New York. In 2013, Jay was the recipient of the Brother Polowy Coaching Award by Holy Cross in Louisiana and in 2014 was named the Jenny Cook Mentorship Award by the University School in Florida.
Jay has coached 142 individual state champions along with 134 National Speech & Debate Association qualifiers in all events, including the 2006 National Champion in Dramatic Interpretation. Jay served as the Chair of the Host Committee for the National Tournament of the National Speech & Debate Association in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He is an inducted member in the Alabama Speech & Debate Coaches Hall of Fame and the National Speech & Debate Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2014, Jay was elected to the Board of Directors for the NSDA and served in that capacity until his term concluded in June, 2018.