SAN DIEGO -- To San Diegans, rugby was little more than an obscure British game until Frank Mattarocci showed up and started coaching the Aztec Rugby team at San Diego State in the late 1950s.
A football star at UC Berkeley who played a season with the New York Giants, Mattarocci’s passion for rugby helped raise the status and popularity of the sport in San Diego. He also brought the first American Football League All-Star game to San Diego’s Balboa Stadium in 1962.
Mattarocci had a varied career, from pro athlete to war hero to restaurateur. In 1980, Mattarocci took over a friend’s struggling limousine company. Presidential Limousine became the largest limousine company in San Diego and the fifth-largest in the country.
Mattarocci died January 13 at his home of a heart condition.
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