The Back Bay Rugby Football Club was founded in 1985 with the consolidation of two first division clubs, Irvine Coast and Newport Beach. The details surrounding Back Bay's development may be of interest.
Irvine Coast was initially Irvine RFC, formed in 1966 by Leon Farley and Roland Markham and domiciled at University of California, Irvine. The team consisted of students and players from the local community. Newport Beach RFC was founded in 1972 by Australian Darryl Stoneham together with a number of players leaving Irvine RFC. A few years later, Irvine RFC, after a dispute with the University, left the UCI campus and became Irvine Coast, playing their games at Orange Coast College. At that time, a UC student's team was formed with the help of a number of fine athletes from Fullerton Junior College. This team later became Santa Ana RFC and continued to play at UCI. For several years the three clubs, Irvine Coast, Newport Beach and Santa Ana continued to function successfully until lack of players forced Santa Ana to amalgamate with Newport Beach. The interesting twist is that one club provided the beginnings of those three successful clubs and now they have all joined to form the Back Bay Rugby Football Club.
Back Bay RFC has been a member of the tough Southern California Rugby Football Union since the club's inception. Back Bay has more than held their own in a league that is considered one of the toughest and most competitive in the country. BBRFC's rugby style has always been open and adventurous. In 2002, this attacking game plan led to a Plate Division Championship at the Major League Rugby Competition in Las Vegas Nevada. That same year also saw the Back Bay contingent qualify for USA Rugby's Division 1 "Sweet 16" playoffs and their two stunning victories in Texas sent them off to America's elite championship, the "Final Four" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Over the year's Back Bay RFC has been pleased to contribute many players to County, Southern California, Pacific Coast and National representative sides including Ed Burlingham, Carl Moeller, Steve Bustanabe, Darryl Knight, Jon Wilkie, Mike Evergin, Bill Zimmerman. Ed, current President of Back Bay RFC, was Captain of the U.S. Eagle 1987 World Cup Team and coached the forwards during the 1991 World Cup campaign in England. The United States National Rugby Team added two more Back Bay Sharks to their line up just this past year. Brian Surgener, BBRFC 1st Team Captain, earned his first Cap against South Africa in Houston Texas and David Fee has become a solid selection at Wing for both the 7's and 15's Eagles teams.
Back Bay's home ground, Peninsula Park, is considered one of the finest and most picturesque in the United States. Located just 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to the Balboa Pier on the beautiful Newport Beach Peninsula, local and oversea's touring sides anxiously anticipate competing on this unique pitch. The Annual Back Bay Summer Touch Tournament attracts throngs of spectators to the area and both committee members and sponsors rely on this event to fill the coffers for the upcoming season.