Asked what her husband Terry and she did to help make their son into who he is now, Besty Brennan laughed and said:
“Actually, I don’t know. We’ve wondered that ourselves.” (HA)
HA Note: “His parents created an emphasis on values and commitment, and modeled their support through their willingness to enroll him in (and drive him a long distance to) countless games, practices, football camps and the famed Mater Dei high school, almost half an hour from their Irvine, Calif., home, to get the best athletic training.”
Asked how parents should raise kids to be champion athletes and good people, Betsy said:
“When your kids are young, it’s hard to know if you are doing a good job as a parent. I just tried to give them as much encouragement as possible and teach them to follow through with their commitments, especially to their teams, and to respect their coaches.” (HA)
Asked what type of sibling, friend, student, and athlete Colt was growing up and what a typical day or week was like, Betsy wrote:
“Colt was a very enthusiastic and outgoing child. He was consumed by his interests. He played all sports, including baseball, soccer and basketball, but football was by far his favorite. During his summer vacations, Colt loved visiting his grandparents in Colorado, where he would horseback ride and fly-fish. He loved being a cowboy!
Colt has always been sensitive, thinking of others, making people feel good about themselves, especially his friends and teammates. Even as a kid, Colt had a way of relating easily towards adults and elders. People we always drawn to his friendly demeanor. Colt has two sisters, one older and one younger. They are all very close and are always there for each other. The girls are very proud to have a brother like Colt!
When it was time for high school, Colt didn’t want to go to our local high school down the street form our house in Irvine, Calif. Instead, he was determined to attend Mater Dei, a powerhouse for football (in Santa Ana), which was about 20 to 25 minutes away from our home. Terry and I both worked, and with few kids in our neighborhood for a carpool, between us we would drive him back and forth to school, practices and games. Colt played three sports his freshman year. A lot of nights he would get home between 8 or 9 at night, with a game on Saturday.
Mater Dei draws kids from all over the county, so Colt developed many friendships. Plus, with all the sports he played, he had friends from all the different high schools in the area. His social life was just as busy as his athletic life.” (HA)
Asked how Colt developed his determination, humble attitude and athletic skill and what role her family played in that, Betsy said:
“Colt was born determined! I don’t know if you can teach that. I do know that his dad’s side of the family is very athletic and competitive. His uncles and cousins were very good role models. Whining was never allowed! Be tough!
The Colorado incident was a very life-altering experience for Colt and our family. He had to grow up fast! It was very humbling. We all learned very fast that you can never take life for granted! (Editor’s note: While attending the University of Colorado in 2004, Brennan admitted to being drunk while walking uninvited into a female student’s dorm room. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted of first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree burglary, and was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent exposure. He received four days in jail, community service and four years’ probation. “I made a mistake, but did not commit a crime,” Brennan said in an Associated Press interview last year.)
Colt was always a good athlete as a child. He was not always the No. 1 guy, but he was very competitive, and his drive and determination made up for the rest. Colt put a lot of time into football outside of school. He attended one-on-one lessons and quarterback camps during spring breaks and summers.” (HA)
Asked what were the main values she focused on and how she taught them to Colt, Betsy said:
“We always taught our kids to be honest, respectful and forthcoming. Treat people the way you wanted to be treated.” (HA)
Asked what advice or guidance she gave Colt when he was young, what kind of advice/guidance she gave him now, and if Colt consults with her often, Betsy said:
“When Colt was little, I just kept on encouraging him to keep going when things did not go his way. It’s funny — Terry and I always worry about Colt, with all the press he is getting, and people are always surrounding him for pictures and autographs. We feel it could be too overwhelming for him, but he keeps reassuring us that this is a good thing and he would not have it any other way. He just hopes he can get to all his fans who want a picture or an autograph.
It’s cute. I never thought I was a good cook, but Colt always calls, usually when I’m asleep with the time change, to ask me how to cook the chicken and potatoes I cooked for him when he was little. His other favorite phone call is to say, “I need money.” (HA)
Asked what advice she would give to Moms of athletes who hope to raise a star athlete like Colt, Betsy said:
“Just be there for them, don’t push them too hard, guide them the best way you can. Tell them to be a good teammate, respectful of coaches, and most of all, play fair! Colt told me once when a close family friend whose son had a great scholarship to play football at a top school decided after his freshman year he did not want to play anymore. The parents were devastated, but Colt understood the commitment and hard work that goes into being a good football player. He said, “Mom, you have to have a passion for the sport to continue, and he had lost it.” ” (HA)
Asked what she does during Colt’s games, how often they go, and if they bring the whole family and friends along, Betsy said:
“We have a large family, so we always have a huge following, especially at the local games here in California or neighboring states. The Las Vegas game, we had over 90 family and friends; some came from as far as Boston and Connecticut. This Thanksgiving we will have about 48. Terry and I have come to all but a few games over the last two years.
When we are home, we always gather with family and friends to watch his games either on TV or the Internet. The games always start with a big tailgate! Sometimes the games are very stressful and everyone gets very quiet. But once we start winning again, there are lots of high-fives and hugs.” (HA)
Asked what her thoughts and emotions are when she watches Colt play and when she hears the praise, hopes, and honors heaped on Colt, Betsy said:
“It is so stressful, sometimes I have to cover my eyes! I just pray he does not get hurt; I want him to do well and win! I don’t want him to let the fans down, because they believe in him so much! I often think how stressful it is for us, but what about Colt out there with thousands watching? Talk about stress! Somehow he always does well under pressure. He makes me so proud!” (HA)
Asked if she thought Colt would win the Heisman, Betsy said:
“I don’t know if he will win the Heisman. It will be determined as the season goes on. I just think it’s a huge honor to be even nominated. I would love to see him get in the top three and get invited back to New York to represent Hawaii and have that experience.” (HA)
Asked if there was anything else she wanted to add, Betsy said:
“I just want to thank Hawaii for embracing Colt, believing in him at a time he so needed a new beginning. I think all of you have been apart of making Colt the success he is today!” (HA)
Betsy and Terry were:
“raised all our life in Orange County.” (HA)
Asked about his job and title, Betsy said:
“We have a family business on my side of the family. We sell time and attendance systems and industrial time clocks. I’ve worked here 37 years. I’m vice president and human resources manager.” (HA)
Asked about her activities, Betsy said:
“Jazzercise 3-4 times a week; traveling to see my girls and following Colt.” (HA)
About their cats, Betsy said:
“Colt surprised me with a kitten from Hawaii on one of his visits home. It was Mother’s Day; that was his gift. I was shocked! Terry never liked cats! We already had a 12-year-old beagle and bird. We kept the kitten and named him Toa. We ended up falling in love with him, and when we went back to Hawaii in December for the bowl game, we brought his sister back. We named her Kona Baby. Terry says, ‘They are more dog than our dog!’ They have been a lot of company since we have become empty nesters!” (HA)
Betsy said that Colt loved the Rams uniform he got when he was 6 that:
“he would never take it off.” (HA)
About Colt’s sisters Channel and Carrera, Betsy said:
“They are all very close and are always there for each other. The girls are very proud to have a brother like Colt!” (HA)