Joey Buran: the USA Surfing head coach won the 1984 Pipeline Masters | Photo: USA Surfing

Joey Buran will lead the United States surfing team into the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Japan.

USA Surfing, the national governing body for the sport of surfing in the United States of America, announced that Buran will be the head coach of the US Olympic surfing team.

Joey Buran won the 1984 Pipeline Masters and founded the Professional Surfing Association of America (PSAA) in 1985. Since the late 1980s, he has been involved in surf coaching programs.

Buran has been selected to join the United States Olympic Committee's National Team Coach Leadership Education Program (NTCLEP), and worked with Olympic gold-medal coaches like Joe Gibbs.

"Buran was the first surfer to brand himself 'The California Kid.' He is the only surf coach I've known who coaches in the 'John Wooden' sense - imparting an infectious, inspired sense of what is possible to all those around him," underlined Greg Cruse, CEO of USA Surfing.

His coaching staff will also include Chris Gallagher (elite technical coach), a former Championship Tour surfer, and Brandon Phillips (assistant coach), a former pro snowboarder. Gallagher will focus on technique and heat strategy, while Phillips will emphasize on motivation and athlete management.

"This is surfing's Olympic debut. There isn't a precedent, so I'm soaking up all the wisdom and experience of those who've been there and won gold and am applying it to Team USA surfing's program to bring our winning streak to the Olympic stage," concluded Buran.

For Tokyo 2020, the maximum of athletes per gender, and per National Olympic Committee (NOC) is two, i.e., only four surfers per country will qualify for the Summer Olympics.

This number could increase to three per NOC in case not all quota places of the World Surf League (WSL) can be attributed.

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