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:
— Robert Kekaula (@RKekaula) May 11, 2021
Colt Brennan's 2006 season was one of the most fun to watch in recent college football memory: 5,549 passing yards and 58 TD in 14 games.
Those late Saturday night Hawaii games were must see.
RIP and condolences to his family. https://t.co/q02COwu8Jh
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 11, 2021
RIP Colt Brennan man you was trill on that field and for a couple seasons put Hawaii Football on the highest level. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
— Breiden Fehoko (@breidenfehoko4) May 11, 2021
One of the players who made me fall in love with college football. I have many memories staying up until 2-3am watching him and those Hawaii teams play. You’ll be missed, Colt Brennan. pic.twitter.com/yHMDUoxeLz
— Alex Funderburke (@AlexFunderburke) May 11, 2021
Every college football fan loved watching Colt Brennan. Staying up until midnight and watching him carve out WAC defenses was one of the greatest shows in college football.
Sending prayers to his friends and family on this day. pic.twitter.com/dUJO4GCehd
— Steve Helwick (@s_helwick) May 11, 2021
Our thoughts go out to Brennan’s family and friends.