Tragic details emerge after death of football hero Colt Brennan, 37

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Colt Brennan, pictured here before a Washington Redskins game in 2009.
Colt Brennan warms up before a Washington Redskins game in 2009. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The football world is mourning the tragic death of former NFL quarterback Colt Brennan, who died on Tuesday at age 37.

A star quarterback at the University of Hawaii who finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2007, Brennan died at a hospital in California, father Terry told the Associated Press.

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Brennan had public struggles with alcohol after his career ended prematurely.

“He just spent one too many times on the dark side of life, and it caught up with him,” Terry Brennan said of his son.

Terry said his son was being treated at a rehabilitation centre when he was found unconscious “a few days ago.”

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

“He had been doing really. 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.

"His sisters made sure he had the Bob Marley music going by his side," Terry Brennan said of the reggae his son was fond of from his time in Hawaii. 

“They had a lei around his chest.”

His family hopes that toxicology results and an autopsy - including tests on his brain to determine if there was degeneration from repeated head trauma - will give them answers.

Police are also investigating.

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Colt Brennan's legendary college football career

Brennan transferred to Hawaii in 2005 after stints at Colorado and Saddleback College in California. 

A certain pro prospect, he bypassed the NFL draft in order to play his senior year for Hawaii coach June Jones.

Brennan led the Warriors to its finest season ever, going 12-0 in the regular season.

His name prominently remains on Hawaii’s all-time records, including accounting for a school record 131 touchdowns from 2005 to 2007.

Brennan finished his college career with 14,193 yards and 131 touchdowns through the air.

Colt Brennan, pictured here in action for the Hawaii Warriors in 2008.
Colt Brennan in action for the Hawaii Warriors in 2008. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

He currently ranks No. 2 in FBS history in passing yards per game, No. 5 in career passing TDs and No. 8 in career passing yards.

Brennan was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2008, but he never played a regular season game in two seasons.

He also had a brief stint with the Oakland Raiders in 2010 before spending time playing arena football and in the Canadian Football League.

After his playing career ended, Brennan had several run-ins with law enforcement, including multiple arrests for drunk driving. 

He also sustained serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, in a car crash in 2010.

Brennan, who used a cane and wore a leg brace, went to California a few months ago for rehab for his injuries, including blood clots in his legs, his father said.

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