San Clemente, Calif. (January 25, 2019) – USA Surfing named Brett Simpson as its new elite national junior team coach. Simpson is a two-time U.S. Open of Surfing winner, WSL Championship Tour surfer from 2010 to 2015 and member of the Huntington Surf & Sport’s Surfing Hall of Fame. USA Surfing’s junior national team is on a medal-winning hot streak and CEO Greg Cruse said Simpson is just the right coach to build on that momentum and assist head coach Chris “Gally” Gallagher Stone in working with Championship Tour surfers.
“The young athletes respond so well to Brett’s coaching,” Cruse said. “He listens intently and closely observes their performance, identifying what they need to do to progress and communicating it in ways that stick and motivate.”
Growing up with an NFL football player dad, Brett’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. Dad Bill Simpson wasn’t always on board with Brett’s surfing. The eldest Simpson 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.
Simpson said he is proud and honored to take on the role of junior national coach and plans to bring an intense focus to proper technique and heat strategies.
“We have some of the top young talent in the world, so now it’s about creating good habits at a young age to maximize potential,” Simpson said. “Their energy is like no other and it’s an important stage in their careers to gain valuable knowledge! My goal is to unite this squad and create a great chemistry among these talents, so they can storm the world!!”
Selection to USA Surfing’s junior national teams brings athletes under the age of 18 into an elite program with year-round high-performance training and the potential to represent USA Surfing in annual International Olympic Committee and International Surfing Association (ISA)-sanctioned surfing events. USA Surfing’s goal is to grow the sport of surfing and develop junior champions who could go on to experience future Olympic success representing their country.
Cruse said America’s youngest surfers are pushing the sport to new and exciting levels. “USA Surfing has a strong pipeline of talent that with the athletes’ hard work and good coaching is becoming the envy of the world,” Cruse said. “These are the athletes that show great promise for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles.”
Cruse said he is stoked about USA Surfing’s coaching staff – a talented trio prepared to help Team USA athletes bring their best to the world’s biggest sporting stage. USA Surfing’s head coach Gallagher Stone is regarded as one of the top technical coaches to the professional surfers on the WSL Championship Tour. Surf athletes will qualify for the 2020 Olympics this year. Brandon Phillips will continue as the junior national team assistant coach, helping Brett Simpson hone the skills of the junior national and development teams.
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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