Former Oregon State football standout Rockne Crowningburg Freitas is a member of a select group of five individuals who make up the third class of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, to be enshrined at a ceremony on the island of Oahu Jan. 29-30 of next year it was announced Wednesday.
Freitas played center for the Beavers from 1964-66 for head coaches Tommy Prothro and Dee Andros. The Kamehameha High School graduate and native of Honolulu helped Oregon State to the 1965 Rose Bowl game. The Beavers finished in the top 20 in the nation in two of his three seasons as a varsity player, including No. 8 in 1964.
He played in the Hula and Coaches All-America bowls, was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 1968 National Football League draft, and then played 10 years in the NFL for Detroit (1968-77) and Tampa Bay (1978).
A three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro at tackle, Freitas was elected to the OSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and to the Hawai'i Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He also was a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Freitas is a 1968 graduate of OSU with a bachelor's degree in animal science and in 2014 was presented the university's E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award for “contributions to society and whose accomplishments and careers bring acclaim to the university.” He also holds doctoral and master's degrees from the University of Hawai'i.
Now the Chancellor at the University of Hawai'i-West Oahu, Freitas has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the education field following his NFL career. Before taking his current job in May 2013, he was the vice-president for student affairs and university/community relations for the entire University of Hawai'i System.
He was also chancellor of Hawai'i Community College for six years, serving as the chief executive of the main campus in Hilo and its University of Hawai'i Center in West Hawai'i. He also has served as vice president and executive director of the Ke Ali'i Pauahi Foundation; held leadership positions at Kamehameha Schools and GRG Enterprises, and was an associate athletic director at Hawai'i.
Freitas will enter the Hall of Fame with Troy Polamalu, a graduate of Douglas High School in Winston, Ore., Charles “Charlie” Teetai Ane, Jr., Vai Sikahema and Albert “Al” Lolotai