Colt Brennan, who set several NCAA records at the University of Hawaii, has died. He was 37.
The news first reported by the Star Advertiser cited Terry Brennan, Colt’s father, as their source. Brennan was spending time at a rehabilitation facility in California when he was found unconscious on Monday. He later died at a hospital in Newport, California, according to his father.
“He was doing so well, the spark was back in his eyes, and he was healthy and doing great, and it happened,” Terry Brennan told the Star Advertiser.
Brennan, a former walk-on at the University of Colorado, transferred to Hawaii after a stint at Saddleback College in California. The pro-style QB found a home on the islands under coach June Jones and helped lift the Fighting Warriors program to being nationally-recognized in the mid-2000’s.
He passed for more than 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, including for 5,549 yards in 2006. He set the single-season record for touchdown passes with 58, which was broken by LSU’s Joe Burrow in 2019. Brennan finished sixth in Heisman voting in 2006 and third in 2007. The only Hawaii player ever to be considered for college football’s most prestigious award.
A certain top NFL prospect, Brennan stayed at Hawaii for his senior season and led the Warriors to a perfect 12-0 regular season before a one-sided 41-10 loss to the heavily-favored Georgia Bulldogs in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.
Brennan was a sixth round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by Washington, but injuries kept him sidelined and he never made an impact in the league.
A 2010 car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury and essentially derailed his comeback to the game of football. He tried to make it work with time in both the CFL and Arena League, but it didn’t work out.
Brennan detailed overcoming a series of legal troubles and substance abuse issues in a recent social media post.
“I’ve been through a lot in my life,” he said. “I was a convicted felon for a crime I never committed, (passed polygraph and all). I captured every dream I had as a child. I was drafted into the league only to have 2 knee and 2 hip surgeries.
“I reached my 3rd year in the NFL, only to awake from a coma with traumatic brain injury as a passenger in a car accident. I battled drug and alcohol abuse, and eventually developed blood clots years after the car accident. I spent 9 months in the hospital and for the last 2 1/2 years have been trying to learn how to walk again with a broken heart. I found redemption once, I will find it again.”
“They say: “ Some people are just born to fight, and it’s not their born brave or born strong. It’s just that the Universe decided that this one, this one will have the grit and fire, and the steel in their blood. They will be tested this cosmic mettle of theirs. They will face trial after trial, be broken and damaged in countless ways, but this one was born to fight.”
According to Colt’s family, he was surrounded by family when he passed. “He went peacefully… He listened to Bob Marley. His sisters had a lei around him when he was unconscious. They had the music of Bob Marley playing near his ear.”