Ex-NFL quarterback Colt Brennan died Monday after falling unconscious in a Southern California rehab facility. He was taken to Hoag Hospital in Newport and, while surrounded by family and friends, he passed away.

The tragic end to the Hawaii QB occurred Monday after a five-month stint in rehab where Colt was working on his sobriety. Though the cause of death is not confirmed it is believed that it may be related to his battle with addiction.

Colt’s father, Terry Brennan spoke to Star Advertiser about his son, saying that Colt “was doing so well, the spark was back in his eyes, and he was healthy and doing great, and it happened.” The inpatient program Colt Brennan was a part of had “no-nonsense guys,” according to Terry. “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 37-year-old football star was known for his football excellence, bringing Hawaii football to the mainstream. From 2005 to 2007, Colt dominated on the field, setting the single-season record for touchdown passes in 2006. He marked himself as a force to be reckoned with on and off the field, coming in fourth for all-time career touchdown passes with 131.

At the end of the 2006 season, Colt Brennan was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding college football player of the year. He didn’t win, but being nominated for the award is an incredible achievement.

Though Colt was drafted to the NFL in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, he never hopped on the professional field because of injuries. Things got worse for the athlete in 2010, when a car accident caused severe brain trauma that ended his football career – though he went on to play in minor football leagues with little success.

After his career on the field ended, Colt Brennan began to get into trouble. He was caught several times driving under the influence, and was arrested in 2020 for causing a disturbance while intoxicated at a hotel. Later in the year he was arrested in his home, and police claimed he was severely intoxicated.

Likely Colt Brennan’s rehabilitation was for alcoholism. Just last month he posted on Instagram, explaining his journey. “I’ve been through a lot in my life,” he captioned the post. “I was a convicted felon for a crime I never committed, (passed polygraph and all). I captured every dream I had as a child. I was drafted into the league only to have 2 knee and 2 hip surgeries. I reached my 3rd year in the NFL, only to awake from a coma with traumatic brain injury as a passenger in a car accident.”

Colt Brennan, an ex-NFL quarterback died Monday after falling unconscious in a rehab facility.
Colt Brennan, an ex-NFL quarterback died Monday after falling unconscious in a rehab facility. Photo Credit: Colt Brennan/Instagram

He goes on to say that he “battled drug and alcohol abuse, and eventually developed blood clots years after the car accident. I spent 9 months in the hospital and for the last 2 1/2 years have been trying to learn how to walk again with a broken heart. I found redemption once, I will find it again.”

The incident Monday left his family and friends devastated. They are searching for answers regarding what happened in Colt’s time at rehab. Terry said that Colt Brennan “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.”