Founded in 1954 by Mike Curren and some of his friends, The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is the parent affiliation of OMBAC Rugby Football Club. The Athletic Club has approximately 450 active members and supports numerous athletic, social and charitable associations.
OMBAC began sponsoring a rugby team in 1966. The club was founded by several OMBAC members who also played rugby and wanted to have a San Diego team. Fed by alumni members of the SDSU rugby team, OMBAC RFC was playing in first division competitions by 1968. Since that time, OMBAC RFC has remained at or near the top of the rankings for USA RUGBY men’s club teams. OMBAC RFC has won 7 USA Rugby Sevens and 8 USA Rugby Fifteens Championships. The club has dominated its league and region.
Over the years, OMBAC has contributed many players to County, Southern California, Pacific Coast and United States All-Star teams. OMBAC players Mike Saunders, Brian Vizard, Kevin Higgins, Steve Gray, Chris Lippert and more recently, Dan Lyle, and Dave Hodges, have captained the United States National Team in international competition. OMBAC has also contributed administratively as well with President Bing Dawson having served as coach of the Pacific Coast Grizzlies as well as the United States National Team. Former OMBAC coach Jim Perkins was the head coach of the 1991 United States World Cup Team. Klaus Mendenhall served as treasurer for the SCRFU for eight years and Bob Watkins held several positions in the United States of America Rugby Football Union, including President.
In the past, OMBAC Rugby has toured Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, England, Scotland and Wales. OMBAC has also hosted a number of foreign touring sides including the French National Champions of 1991, Toulouse; and Llanelli, the runner-ups to the Welsh Club Champions of 1990 and Welsh Club Champions in 1992 and ’93. 1993 saw OMBAC battle Northern Transvaal powerhouse club, Roodeport, to an 18-17 narrow defeat. Roodeport went on to dismantle several other clubs and rep sides in the region. In 1994 OMBAC hosted and defeated such world powers as the Orrell Rugby Football Club from England and the Brothers RFC from Brisbane, Australia. In 1995 OMBAC was on the losing side in a very physical game with another top English side, the Sale Rugby Club. In 1996 OMBAC played host to one of Argentina’s top club sides, Ciudad Universidad de Buenos Aires (CUBA).
OMBAC was represented in the 2007 Rugby World Cup by team members Todd Clever, Tui Osborne and Dan Payne. Former OMBAC player Will Hafu has played internationally for Tonga and also played professionally in England for Moseley RFC.
OMBAC Rugby has distinguished itself with the following accomplishments:
- 2010 U.S.A. D3 National Champions
- 2006 Rugby Super League Champions
- 1996 U.S.A. National Champions
- 1994 U.S.A. National Champions
- 1993 U.S.A. National Champions
- 1991 U.S.A. National Champions
- 1989 U.S.A. National Champions
- 1988 U.S.A. National Champions
- 2006 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 2002 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 2001 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 2000 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 1995 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 1985 U.S.A. 7’s National Champions
- 2003 Super League Runners-Up
- 2002 Super League Semi-Finalists
- 2001 Super League Runners-Up
- 2000 Super League Semi-Finalists
- 2000 Third Place U.S.A. National Club Championships
- 1997 Third Place U.S.A. National Club Championships
- 1995 Runners-Up U.S.A. National Club Championships
- 1996 Runners-Up U.S.A. 7’s National Club Championship
First XV Honors
This is a list of honors awarded to the OMBAC rugby union team.
- USA Rugby Division I Champions – 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996
- Second place – 1995
- Third place – 1997, 2000
- USA Rugby National Club Sevens Champions – 1985, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006
- Second place – 1996, 2005, 2007
- Third place – 1997
- USA Rugby Division III Champions – 2010
- Rugby Super League Championship
- First place – 2006
- Second place – 2001, 2003
- Fourth place – 2000, 2002
Original patch – 1966