Surhoff swam for 17 years, from age 8 to 25, experiencing success at every level. During his career, he trained with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in addition to the Texas Longhorns. A graduate of nearby St. Paul's in Baltimore, Surhoff qualified for three consecutive National Junior Teams that traveled to Australia, Mexico and Guam. He also made the semifinal for the 200 IM at the 2008 Olympic Trials as a 17-year-old and was named the Maryland Swimmer of the Year for his age group three times.
At Texas, Surhoff trained under US Olympic Team head coach Eddie Reese. He won a pair of NCAA titles (200 IM, 400 Free Relay), seven Big 12 Conference titles and was an 11-time All-American. In 2010, he helped the Longhorns to the NCAA team title. In 2012, Surhoff finished fourth at the US Olympic Trials in the 200 IM and qualified for his first USA Swimming National Team. He was also a member of two USA World University Games teams, winning a silver medal as a member of the 4x200 Free Relay in 2013.
As a professional, Surhoff trained under US Olympic Team head coach Bob Bowman and was a member of two more US National Teams. He was also a 2014 Long Course National Champion in the 4x200 Free Relay. Surhoff's last swim was the 2016 Olympic Trials, when he finished eighth in the final of the 200 IM. Surhoff graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in advertising.