Record-setting UH quarterback Brennan dies at 37

  • Craig T. Kojima/Honolulu Star-Advertiser Colt Brennan visits at UH football practice in 2018.

Record-setting University of Hawaii quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan has died, his father Terry Brennan told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The 37-year-old Brennan was in his fifth month at an in-patient rehabilitation facility when he was found unconscious several days ago. He died on Monday at Hoag Hospital in Newport, Calif.


“He had been doing really (well),” Brennan’s father, Terry Brennan told the Star-Advertiser. “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.”

The elder Brennan said his son “went peacefully,” surrounded by family with the music of Bob Marley playing close to his ear.

Brennan led the Rainbow Warriors to a 12-0 regular season in 2007. He set several passing records and was invited to New York as one of four Heisman Trophy finalists. He finished third in the voting.

He returned to UH for his senior season, a move that cemented his legend status among Rainbow Warrior fans, and was selected by Washington in the 2008 draft.

Brennan’s brief NFL career was plagued by injuries and he was out of the league by 2010.

He was severely injured in a Nov. 19, 2010 head-on crash on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway in Kona.

In recent years, he had minor scrapes with the law due to alcohol abuse.

He was arrested twice last year in Kona, where he lived.

On Aug. 1 at the Kona Seaside Hotel after allegedly causing a disturbance and refusing to leave the premises after being requested to do so by the manager.

Police described him as “heavily intoxicated” when they took him into custody.

The charge was later dismissed.

Then, on Nov. 18, he was arrested at his Kailua-Kona home and charged with disorderly conduct, according to police.

A housemate told police Brennan had awakened him at about 7:30 p.m. by banging on his door with a chair. When Brennan entered the room, he apparently stumbled into the housemate, causing both to fall to the floor.

Brennan was described by arresting officers as “extremely intoxicated and uncooperative,” police said.


He pleaded not guilty to that charge and was to appear in Kona District Court on June 7.

Email John Burnett at

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