Record-setting Hawaii QB Colt Brennan dies at age 37

A college football legend has died.

Reports out of Hawaii emerged Tuesday with some horrific news: Colt Brennan has died at the age of 37. Brennan set records as the quarterback at the University of Hawaii from 2005 to 2007 before going on to a brief NFL career.

Brennan’s father, Terry Brennan, confirmed the news to the Hawaii Star-Advertiser and said his son was being treated at a rehabilitation center when he was found unconscious “a few days ago.” He died at a hospital in California on Monday.

Terry Brennan told the paper his son died “peacefully” surrounded by family. From the 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 had record-setting college football career

Brennan, following a year in junior college, landed at Hawaii in 2005 and quickly earned the starting job under head coach June Jones. The Rainbow Warriors went 5-7 in Brennan’s first year as the starter before leading the team to consecutive double-digit win seasons in 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, Hawaii won 11 games while Brennan put up eye-popping numbers. In 14 games, Brennan threw for 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns while completing 72.6% of his throws. His passing yardage from that season is the seventh-most in FBS history while his number of touchdown passes was an FBS record until Joe Burrow tossed 60 TDs in 2019.

Brennan finished sixth in the Heisman voting that season and returned on the national radar in 2007. That year, Brennan led the Warriors to their first-ever outright Western Athletic Conference championship. Brennan threw for 4,343 yards and 38 touchdowns that year and finished No. 3 in the Heisman voting. He became the first Hawaii player to finish as a Heisman finalist.

Hawaii went a perfect 8-0 in conference play and completed an undefeated 12-0 regular season by beating Washington. The Warriors rose to No. 10 in the AP poll and earned an invitation to the Sugar Bowl against Georgia, a game UGA won 41-10.

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

After his college career, Brennan was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Washington Football Team. He spent two seasons with Washington, had a brief stint with the Oakland Raiders in 2010 before spending time playing arena football and in the Canadian Football League.

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