Brett Simpson named Team USA Olympic head coach

July 13, 2020 | Surfing
Brett Simpson: the new Team USA Olympic head coach | Photo: WSL

USA Surfing named Brett Simpson head Olympic surf team coach.

The two-time US Open of Surfing winner was unanimously voted by the four surfers that will represent the United States in the upcoming Olympic Games.

Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, and John John Florence are expected to represent their country next year in Tokyo.

Simpson coached USA Surfing's junior national team to gold and the World Surfing Games team to silver last year.

He says 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."

Even though Hawaii has a travel ban, Simpson has been working with California team members during the pandemic, 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," added Simpson.

Brett Simpson: in 2019, the California surfer led coached USA Surfing's junior national team to team gold and the World Surfing Games team to silver

A Team Builder

Growing up with an NFL football player dad, Simpson's unique upbringing imparted a healthy respect for the value of the 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 was voted head coach unanimously by Olympic surfers and USA Surfing's athlete advisory committee. The athletes respond so well to Brett's coaching," notes Greg Cruse, CEO of USA Surfing.

"He has earned their trust and the trust of their personal coaches."

Brett first won the US Open of Surfing in 2009, beating Australian Mick Fanning in the final.

The surfer from Long Beach, California, 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 US Open titles.

His best overall season on the CT came the following year in 2011 when he finished the year ranked 19th in the world with three equal-fifth place finishes.

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