Colt Brennan at Hawaii.

Famed former Hawaii Rainbow Warriors quarterback Colt Brennan has passed away at 37. As per his father Terry, the younger Brennan died in hospital in California Monday, a few days after being found unconscious at the in-patient rehab facility he was at. Here’s more on that from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

“He was doing so well, the spark was back in his eyes, and he was healthy and doing great, and it happened,” Terry Brennan said.

The elder Brennan said his son was in the fifth month of an in-patient treatment program.

“He had been doing really,” Brennan said. “These guys were no-nonsense guys. It just got away from him. I don’t know how else to explain it. Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain it better.”

Brennan was surrounded by family members when he died. “He went peacefully,” Terry Brennan said. “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.”

Brennan had previously faced issues with alcohol, including several DUI charges and a dismissal from the University of Colorado in 2004 around a conviction for felony burglary and trespassing. He had also dealt with head injuries, specifically from a concussion sustained against Fresno State during Hawaii’s 2007 regular season and from a brain injury sustained during a 2010 car crash.

Brennan played for the Rainbow Warriors from 2005-07, after redshirting at Colorado then starring at Saddleback College.  He set all sorts of NCAA passing records at Hawaii, and threw for 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 2006. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in both 2006 and 2007, the first-ever Heisman finalist from the Hawaii program. He led the Rainbow Warriors to a 12-0 regular season campaign and a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2007-08 (they lost to Georgia there, finishing 12-1).

Brennan then was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft and played there for two seasons. Following that, he briefly signed with the Raiders, then spent time in the UFL with the Hartford Colonials and then joined the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. He then was set to join the Arena Football League’s LA Kiss in 2014, but that signing was waived after doctors couldn’t clear him, which was attributed to the brain injury he suffered in 2010.

Tributes to Brennan have poured in on social media:

Our thoughts go out to Brennan’s family and friends.

[The Honolulu Star-Advertiser; screengrab of Brennan at Hawaii from George Pozsgai on YouTube]




About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.