HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Wednesday night friends and family mourn the death of football legend Rockne Freitas — the first Native Hawaiian All-Pro player in the National Football League.

Freitas played a role in the lives of many both on and off the field as he had a career in football and education.

Download the free KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed on the latest news

The Kamehameha Schools graduate was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of both the University of Hawaii and Oregon State University. In addition to his many honors, Freitas was also inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

After he retired from his football career, Freitas turned to education and spent nearly 23 years in UH leadership roles.

“Rockne’s heart was as big as the rest of him,” said UH President David Lassner. “Regardless of his job, he was always ready to step in and help with whatever needed doing.”