Colt Brennan, a former NFL quarterback who is perhaps best known for his wildly successful college career, has died.
The news was first published Tuesday morning by Hawaii News Now, citing a report from Brennan’s family.
He was just 37 years old.
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According to reporting confirmed later by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Brennan was found unconscious “a few days ago” at a southern California rehab facility. He was transferred to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Monday, according to his father, Terry Brennan.
Terry told the outlet that his son had been in a rehab program for the last five months working on his sobriety when something went wrong, explaining (below):
“He was doing so well, the spark was back in his eyes, and he was healthy and doing great, and it happened. These guys [at the rehab facility] 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.”
Colt apparently officially passed with family by his side, as his grieving father explained:
“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.”
Brennan had been a college football superstar at the University of Hawaii in the mid-2000s, even finishing third in the prestigious Heisman Trophy voting in 2007.
During his career in Honolulu, Brennan blossomed into one of the best passing quarterbacks in the country, putting up huge passing numbers and touchdowns scored while leading Hawaii from being a mediocre football school into a national powerhouse.
For his efforts there, he was eventually drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team (then known as the Washington Redskins). He struggled to catch on in professional football, lasting several seasons with Washington and the Oakland Raiders, before playing in the Canadian Football League, and with the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League.
Brennan’s career wasn’t without controversy, though. While attending the University of Colorado — his first football stop before he got to Hawaii — he was accused of sexual assault after reportedly entering a female student’s dorm room and exposing himself to her while drunk. He was eventually convicted of felony burglary and trespassing and was kicked out of school, though even up until last month he denied all the allegations against him.
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After Colorado, he attended junior college and played football at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, before getting a second chance at Hawaii.
Brennan went through four surgeries while recovering from injuries during his time in pro football. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bad car accident during his pro football career in 2010, and was later arrested twice on DUI charges, in 2012 and 2019.
Almost exactly a month ago, on April 12, he addressed all of this in an emotional Instagram post recounting all the highs and lows of his life to date:
Wow. And now, this.
Our hearts go out to his family, friends, former teammates, loved ones, and fans. He lived an interesting life, to be sure.
[Image via Colt Brennan/Instagram/YouTube]