Former Hawaii Star QB Colt Brennan Dies at Age 37

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan speaks to the media at the Stan Sheriff Center after being named a Heisman finalists, Wednesday,  Dec. 5, 2007 in Honolulu.  Brennan, along with two other quarterbacks and a running back are the four finalists for this year's Heisman Trophy.  Brennan finished the regular season with 4,174 yards in passing and 38 touchdowns while setting the major college record for career touchdown passes with 131.(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Marco Garcia/Associated Press

Former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who set 31 NCAA records during his time at the school, died Monday.

Hawaii Football @HawaiiFootball

Rest in aloha, Colt 💚 https://t.co/wCXtCNfuyH

He was 37.

Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser confirmed Brennan's death with his family. His father, Terry Brennan, said he was found unconscious at a rehabilitation center last week. He was in the fifth month of an in-patient rehabilitation program.

“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. "He had been doing really (well). 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, who served as Matt Leinart's backup at California's famed Mater Dei High School, attended the University of Colorado and Saddleback College before becoming one of the most iconic athletes in Hawaii history. Flourishing in June Jones' wide-open aerial attack, Brennan shattered nearly every Hawaii school record and set numerous NCAA marks for passing efficiency.

He threw for 5,549 yards and an NCAA-record 58 touchdowns in 2006, a record that stood for more than a decade before being broken by Joe Burrow in 2019. A year later, Brennan finished third behind Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden in the Heisman voting.

Brennan was also beloved at Hawaii for helping the school gain national attention and embracing the island culture. He dyed the islands into his hair and led the team to a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2007.

The now-Washington Football Team selected Brennan in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft. He lasted two seasons before being released in 2010 after suffering a season-ending hip injury the year prior. After a brief preseason stint with the Raiders, Brennan was released and didn't sign with an NFL team again. He never threw a pass in a regular-season game.

Following his football career, Brennan had several run-ins with the law that were alcohol-related. He was arrested twice for driving under the influence and was charged with trespassing while being "heavily intoxicated" after refusing to leave a hotel in Hawaii.

Terry Brennan said his son died surrounded by family and listening to Bob Marley.


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