Rockne attended Kamehameha Schools from Kindergarten until he graduated in 1963. While attending Kamehameha, he was part of the 1962 State Championship Football team and the 1962 and 1963 State Basketball Championship teams. Rockne was also the Shot Put and Discus State Champion in 1963.
Rockne went on to Oregon State University, where he played on the 1964 Rose Bowl team and in numerous all-star games upon finishing his college eligibility. Rockne was selected in the third round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and subsequently traded to the Detroit Lions. Rockne would eventually play 11 years in the NFL (Lions 1968-1977, Buccaneers 1978), become the first Native Hawaiian selected to the NFL All-Pro team in 1970 and 1972, and earn an invitation to the 1972 Pro Bowl.
Upon finishing his NFL career, Rockne embarked on a long and distinguished career in public service, athletics, education, and as a Native Hawaiian Advocate. He served as a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, held multiple roles in the UH Manoa Athletics Department, was named Vice President of University Relations, and later became Chancellor of Hawai'i Community College and Chancellor of UH West O'ahu. Rockne also served as Vice President of Kamehameha Schools and Director of the Ke Ali'i Pauahi Foundation.
A loving and devoted husband and father, Rockne is survived by his wife Leina'ala; sons Makai (Aulani) and Makoa (Leilani); hanai daughter Lily (Bogdan), and six grandchildren: Emalia, Rockne, Wailea, Kona, Mahina, and Hi'ilei.
A Celebration of Life will be at the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Memorial Chapel, Saturday, September 24th, 2022. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., followed by the service at 11:00 a.m.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased