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Mickey Ording


Sweeney Award



Robert Michael “Mickey” Ording was an All-Catholic pick in both baseball and football at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, California. He was selected to the National All Catholic team, All Northern California and Wigwam Wisemen All-American team for the football season of 1958. He attended the University of Oregon on a football scholarship and was selected on the Pac-10 All Coast team in 1960, 1961 and 1962. Mickey finished his career there as a 1962 All-American guard and capped off his senior year by playing in the 1963 Hula Bowl. After graduating, he played for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League in 1962-63.

While at Oregon, Mickey was introduced to the sport of rugby. He played rugby for the Ducks from 1960-62. After his stint with the Eskimos, he moved to San Francisco to obtain a graduate degree and coach football at UCSF.  While in San Francisco, he joined the Olympic Club rugby team, playing with the O Club from 1963-72. He then played with the XO Rugby Club from 1973-82, touring with them to Ireland, Wales, England and France. He also toured with the California Poppies on their tour to the U.K.

In 1973, Mickey was selected for the Pacific Coast Grizzlies Select Side. He also played with the West Bay Select Side and with the Northern California Pelicans and the Pacific Coast Grizzlies from 1965 through 1978.

He was also garnering attention from the newly created U.S. National Team. Mickey was selected to start at the tight-head prop position in the United States’ first game of the modern era, against Australia, in Los Angeles on January 31, 1976. He would go on to play in three of the next four Eagles matches, his last in a win against Canada in Baltimore. His national career also included the U.S. Cougars tour of South Africa and Rhodesia in 1979 (an Eagles team which was not  recognized as a national team due to South Africa’s national apartheid policies). He was also selected to an All World team to play South Africa in 1977 but the game was cancelled due to the apartheid policies of South Africa.

He also coached the Santa Clara University Men’s rugby team from 1967-85 and was the President of the Northern California Rugby Union from 1977-85. In 1979, Mickey was the first recipient of the Craig Sweeney Award, given to past Eagle players who gave back to the sport.

Mickey was a high school and college teacher and football coach from 1965-2001. He married Molly in 1969. The couple has four children and 12 grandchildren. When not doting on them, Mickey enjoys coaching his grandsons’ baseball teams (Red Sox and Giants), traveling and playing golf.