Colt McCoy Once Swam Across a Lake to Try to Save a Man Having Seizures

Colt McCoy was a great college football quarterback for the University of Texas. He’s also been a decent backup in the pros. The now-24-year-old has never been a starter for a notable period of time, but he had a long stint in Washington as a capable understudy. McCoy is obviously quite the athlete. But how often has he used this athleticism outside of his NFL career? 

One time, McCoy was able to showcase his athletic ability in a life-or-death situation. Let’s look back at the time McCoy swam across a lake to save a man experiencing seizures. 

Colt McCoy’s football career

McCoy obviously had a lucrative career as a quarterback. But his true glory days came as the QB of the University of Texas Longhorns. According to, McCoy left Texas with a career record of 45-8. He was a two-time All-American at quarterback. He won three Bowl games, more than any other Longhorns’ quarterback.

McCoy began his career under Vince Young as a redshirt while Young led the team to a historic national title game victory over USC. In 2010, McCoy had his number retired by the school. The Cleveland Browns selected him as the 20th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. It’s clear that McCoy is a superior athlete. This same athleticism put him in the position to save a life. What other pro sports figures have done the same? 

Other times athletes have saved someone’s life

Pro athletes can seem like superheroes. They’re often regarded as celebrities, but at the end of the day, they’re playing a game. While sports can be important to fans and society, it’s not as if they’re routinely saving lives like doctors, EMTs, or firefighters. However, some athletes have been able to step into a lifesaving role:

  • While not an athlete, baseball umpire Jim Joyce saved a woman’s life mere weeks after making the worst call of his career
  • Known for his larger-than-life personality, the greatest boxer ever, Muhammad Ali, added lifesaver to his resume. He once literally talked a man off a ledge, convincing him to not jump off a building. 
  • Carolina Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey saved a man while hiking. 
  • The late NBA player Jerome Kersey passed away in 2015, but not before listing himself as an organ donor, giving his corneas and muscle tissue to those in medical need.

So how did McCoy show similar heroics? 

Colt McCoy swam across a lake to save someone


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According to an AP story, McCoy saved a man’s life in 2006 while still a student at the University of Texas. When his neighbor Ken Herrington began having a seizure on his dock, McCoy swam 300 yards across a lake. He then alerted emergency first responders that the man was in danger.

McCoy’s father claimed that his son’s actions were truly inspiring: “It was just a true hero story of how everybody came together and saved a life.” Herington was fine; he underwent three brain surgeries prior to this. He spent a week in the hospital and was discharged. Herington’s wife, Patina, claimed she would become a big McCoy fan following his heroics. 

Say what you want about McCoy as an NFL quarterback, but at the beginning of his time as a college QB, he truly showed his mettle as a human being.