HONOLULU (KHON2) — Family, friends and fans gathered in front of Duke’s Waikiki side-by-side as one to celebrate, paddle out and spread Colt’s ashes in the ocean of his beloved home.
“One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel alright.”
The lyrics of Bob Marley were favorites of Hawaii’s lost hanai son Colt Brennan, and also the perfect soundtrack to Sunday’s celebration of his life.
Like Colt did from 2005-2008 leading the University of Hawaii football team as a Heisman Trophy Finalist, Colt brought Hawaii to celebrate together.
“As much as I don’t wanna get emotional about this day and keep it a celebration, I’m so proud that he has brought us all together again one more time to celebrate his great career,” Brennan’s former head coach June Jones said.
It was a chance to remember how good it felt when an outsider who loved being here, talked like us, dressed like us, loved us; putting Hawaii on his back for a ride to the top of the sports world.
“He would know what the people of Hawaii would go through and so when he dyed his hair and put the islands on, it just, it said everything,” Rainbow Warriors head coach Timmy Chang said. “A great coach once told me, when you’re done wearing the jersey, it’s what you left. Colt put this place and this University and this state in a different place, in a different category.”
The Brennans thanked Hawaii for the unconditional love, even as Colt battled countless injuries, traumatic brain injury, and addiction in his later years.
“Hawaii was his home away from home that truly became his happy place and home. The state of Hawaii embraced Colt and welcomed him with open arms. You never judged him or turned your back on him, even through his darkest times,” Colt’s sister Chanel Brewster said.
Colt’s ashes were taken out to the ocean and laid to rest with lei. His family is now looking to the future of the Colt Brennan Legacy fund, which was founded to help causes that Colt cared about like UH athletics, youth sports, and organizations that help those struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
Check out what’s going on around the nation on our National News page
“Did Colt make mistakes? Yeah, he did make his share of mistakes,” Colt’s dad Terry Brennan said. “Hopefully we can learn from it and help other kids that are having mental health issues and challenges.”