San Clemente, Calif. (July 10, 2020) – USA Surfing named two-time U.S. Open winner Brett Simpson head Olympic surf team coach. Team USA’s first two-man, two-woman, Olympic surf team — Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks and John John Florence — unanimously voted to have Simpson lead the team as they take to the world’s biggest sporting stage next summer in Japan.
Simpson coached USA Surfing’s junior national team to team gold and the World Surfing Games team to silver last year. He said he is proud and honored to have earned the team’s trust and to represent his country as the Olympic team head coach.
“Team USA is absolutely stacked with Carissa, Caroline, John and Kolohe,” Simpson said. “Their precision, energy and power are made for the Olympic stage, where medals are decided in the span of a few short days of giving it 110 percent, no mistakes, and mastering what the ocean provides at that time.”
Simpson has been working with California team members during the pandemic (Hawaii has a travel ban.), simulating high-pressure decision making. “In a sport where the playing field constantly changes, having headspace awareness and mental toughness can be the most critical factor in determining gold medals,” Simpson said.
“Brett was voted head coach unanimously by Olympic surfers and USA Surfing’s athlete advisory committee. The athletes respond so well to Brett’s coaching,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “He has earned their trust and the trust of their personal coaches.”
Growing up with an NFL football player dad, Simpson’s unique upbringing imparted a healthy respect for the value of team, but also created a strength of character to go against the grain to pursue his dreams. His father, Bill, played in the NFL for eight seasons, five with the Los Angeles Rams and three with the Buffalo Bills. He still holds the NFL record for playoff interceptions.
Brett first won the U.S. Open in 2009, beating Australian Mick Fanning in the final. And then won it again the next year, beating South African Jordy Smith in the final. No other men’s surfer has won back-to-back U.S. Open titles. His best overall season on the CT came the following year in 2011 when he finished the year ranked No. 19 in the world with three equal-fifth place finishes.
Contact: becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.
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