University of Hawaii West Oahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas is retiring at the end of the year.
The former standout NFL player — whose career at UH spans 23 years — was the first Native Hawaiian chancellor when he was named in 2013.
“I am the happiest man in the world to have served the University of Hawaii, but I am retiring to begin a new journey, spend time with people that I love, go fishing and work out,” Freitas said in a press release.
UH West Oahu’s enrollment grew under Freitas, and is expected to reach 3,000 this fall, up from 1,909 when he took over.
Prior to taking over at West Oahu, Freitas was chancellor at Hawaii Community College for six years.
"We’re incredibly grateful to Rockne and fortunate that he chose to serve Hawaiʻi’s university for 23 years,” UH President David Lassner said in a statement.
“He tackled diverse leadership positions for us, first in the UH Manoa athletics department and then in his first stint as a UH vice president. After his return to UH he also served as chancellor at two different campuses on two islands and played key leadership roles in our higher education startups for the most underserved regions of the state. It has been a personal pleasure and honor to work with him in many positions over many years. He has inspired me and many others with his steadfast commitment to improving access and success in higher education, especially for Native Hawaiians,” Lassner said.
Freitas was in the NFL 12 years, all but one of them with the Detroit Lions before ending his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1972 season. Freitas was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame.