Colt Brennan, Former University of Hawaii Quarterback and Heisman Trophy Finalist, Dead at 37
Colt Brennan, the former University of Hawaii quarterback who broke numerous NCAA records during his time at the school, has died. He was 37.
The football player died on Monday at the Hoag Hospital in Newport, California, his father Terry Brennan confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The elder Brennan told ESPN that his son had recently tried checking into a detox facility, but was turned away because it had no beds available.
According to the patriarch, Brennan — who was five months into a six-month rehabilitation program — was hospitalized after he ingested something laced with fentanyl and lost consciousness.
"He went peacefully," the elder Brennan told Honolulu Star-Advertiser, saying that his son was surrounded by family when he died. "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 attended University of Colorado and Saddleback College before joining University of Hawaii in 2005 as the starting quarterback for the Rainbow Warriors.
During his time at UH, Brennan set many NCAA records for college football, including second-most passing touchdowns in one season with 58. (The record was later surpassed by Joe Burrow during the 2019 season.)
While at the college, Brennan threw for 14,193 yards and 131 touchdowns in three seasons.
His talents on the field led him to finish sixth place for the Heisman Trophy voting in 2006 and third place — just behind Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden — in 2007.
The now-Washington Football Team drafted Brennan in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Though he played during the preseason, injuries prevented him from playing in regular season games, and he was released in August 2010.
Brennan had a one-month stint with the Oakland Raiders before a November 2010 car crash in Hawaii left him with a head injury, broken ribs and a broken collar bone.
After that, the athlete spent some time in the United Football League, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. He was last released from the Los Angeles Kiss in 2014.
Last year, Brennan was arrested at a hotel for causing a disturbance while intoxicate, according to ESPN. A few months later, he was arrested in his Hawaii home for another disturbance, according to the outlet.
"It seemed to have an effect on him to where he just found himself going from one bad spot to another bad spot," Terry Brennan told ESPN. "I don't know how else to say it. You make decisions and sometimes they're the right decisions, and sometimes they're the wrong decisions."
In the wake of Brennan's death, many from the football community have taken to social media to express their condolences.
"The Hawaii football program is deeply saddened by news of Colt Brennan passing," current Rainbow Warriors head coach Todd Graham said in a statement on Twitter. "A great Warrior legend, rest in aloha."
"There will never be another," Ryan Mouton, who played football for UH, tweeted. "RIP my brother."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.