Brennan, who had public problems with alcohol, died in a California hospital, her father, Terry Brennan, told The Associated Press.
“He’s been on the dark side of life one too many times, and it’s caught up with him,” Terry Brennan said of his son.
Brennan transferred to Hawaii after stints in Colorado and Saddleback College in California. Some professional hope after a record-breaking junior season, he bypassed the NFL draft to play his final year for Hawaii coach June Jones.
Brennan led the Warriors to their best season ever, going 12-0 in the regular season.
In 2008, Georgia ended Hawaii’s hopes of an unblemished record, beating the Warriors 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl.
He returned for his final year, in part, to pay off a school and trainer who gave him a second chance, and he had no regrets.
“Hawaii inspired me to do a lot of great things,” he told The Associated Press in 2007.
Jones, the former Hawaii coach now with the XFL Houston Roughnecks, called the day a sad day for the Islands.
“Colt was clearly the star of our program and what he did after the 2006 season by staying in school says a lot about him and how he cared so much more about Hawaii and his teammates,” did he declare. “It’s something that doesn’t happen anymore. ”
In a statement Tuesday, the college athletics department called the Irvine, Calif., Native “the focal point of one of the greatest eras of Rainbow Warrior football.”
“He was a phenomenal player and provided us with some of the greatest sports memories we have ever had. But he was more than that, ”the statement read. “Despite everything he accomplished on the football field and the adulation he received for it, he always remained with the people. He never refused an autograph, he never refused a photo with someone.
Brennan was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, but has never played a regular-season game in two seasons.
Life after football seemed difficult to him. His former lawyer, Michael Green, told the AP in 2013 that the quarterback felt like he had disappointed people with his young football career. He also said at the time that Brennan was still in emotional and physical pain from a head-on collision on the Big Island in 2010.
He was arrested last November at his Big Island home after knocking on a roommate’s door with a chair. When he entered the room, the 6-foot-3 Brennan fell on the roommate, knocking them both down to the floor. Brennan was arrested for disorderly conduct, reported the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
It was the second time in four months that he had been arrested. In August, he was taken into custody for trespassing at the Kona Seaside hotel after allegedly causing unrest and refusing to leave.
In both incidents, police described Brennan as severely intoxicated, the Big Island newspaper reported. The charge was subsequently dismissed.
In December 2019, he was arrested in Oahu for driving under the influence, without insurance and leaving the scene of an accident.
Four years earlier, he had been accused of filing a false report that his vehicle was stolen, the newspaper reported. This case was also subsequently dismissed.
He also pleaded no DUI contest in 2013 for a traffic stop on Oahu a year earlier.
In 2010, he was a passenger in an SUV involved in a head-on collision on the Big Island. He suffered injuries to his head, ribs and collarbone.
A heavy blow that rang throughout Aloha Stadium knocked him unconscious and left him with a concussion early in the fourth quarter of a 2007 game against Fresno State.
It wasn’t the first time he had a concussion.
He told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that year that he was 14, in his senior year of Pop Warner youth football, when he suffered a very serious concussion. But this injury did not make him want to quit the sport.
Brennan, who used a cane and leg brace, went to California a few months ago for rehab for her injuries, including blood clots in her legs, her father said.
Brennan lived in an addiction treatment center in Costa Mesa, Calif., And Terry Brennan said her son was also a heavy user of marijuana. Terry Brennan took him to a hospital emergency room on Sunday because his son had been drinking. “I could tell he was not doing well and needed help,” said Terry Brennan.
But the drug rehab facility was full, so without his family realizing it, Colt Brennan was released. He was unconscious when he was taken back to hospital, where he later died, his father said.
“They released him on the street and he either made a call or he got Uber or something,” Brennan said. “And now that’s what we’re dealing with.”
He was surrounded by members of his family when he died.
“His sisters made sure he had Bob Marley’s music by his side,” Terry Brennan said of the reggae his son had loved since his time in Hawaii. “They had a lei around his chest.
Hawaii was important to him. “He had all the respect in the world for Hawaii,” his father said. “It was his house.
His family is hoping that the results of toxicology and an autopsy – including tests on his brain to determine if there has been degeneration from repeated head trauma – will provide them with answers.
Police are also investigating, his father said.
Brennan’s name remains prominently on Hawaii’s all-time records, including posting a school record of 131 touchdowns from 2005 to 2007. During his stellar career in Hawaii, Brennan has beaten or equaled 31 NCAA records.
In 2006, he set a record 569 passing yards against Arizona State University in a bowling game. He finished his career with 20 games with 400 yards or more and four games with 500 yards or more.
He led the nation in 2006 in several categories, including total offense (422.5), touchdown passes (58) and passing efficiency (185.96).
“I remember the first time I met him he had that boast about him, super confident, didn’t care what people thought and it really played out on the pitch,” his old man said. teammate Mike Lafaele. “What a great leader he was on and off the pitch. ”
Associated Press reporter Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska contributed to this report.
Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, The Associated Press