Rypien was born to Tim and Julie Rypien in Spokane, Washington. Growing up, he was a multiple-sport athlete, playing football in addition to baseball, the sport his father had played at the minor league level.
Rypien attended Shadle Park High School in Spokane, Washington. At Shadle Park he played quarterback for all four years of high school. By the time he graduated, he had set Washington state records for career passing yards (13,044), formerly held by former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore; pass completions (1,006); single-season records for passing yards (4,552) and touchdowns (50), both previously held by Kellen Moore; single-game records for passing yards (613); and pass completions (44). Rypien graduated early from Shadle Park as a 4.0GPA student, earning valedictorian honors.
Rypien was rated by both Rivals and Scout as a four-star recruit coming out of high school. He verbally committed to Boise State University in April 2014, officially signed in September and then enrolled in January 2015.
Awards2014 Washington State Player of the Year
3× Washington 3A All-State
Washington state recordsCareer passing yards (13,044)
Career completions (1,006)
Single-season passing yards (4,552)
Single-season passing touchdowns (50)
Single-game passing yards (613)
Single-game completions (44)
Rypien began taking classes at Boise State in January 2015; he had enrolled early so he could take part in spring practices. With two-year starting quarterback Grant Hedrick graduating from Boise State, it left a hole at the quarterback position. On August 23, at the close of fall practice, Ryan Finley was named the Broncos' starting quarterback and Rypien was left to redshirt for his freshman season.
In the third game of the Broncos' season, against Idaho State, Finley was tackled from behind in the first half of the game, breaking his left ankle, which would require an eight-week recovery time. Rypien entered the game in the second half, burning his redshirt, and led the offense to scores on each of his four possessions, three touchdowns and one field goal. Rypien became the first true freshman quarterback to play in a game for Boise State since 1993.
In Rypien's first three starts of his Boise State career, the Broncos averaged over 50 points per game, and Rypien averaged over 300 yards in each contest and totaled eight touchdowns. In his sixth start, against the UNLV Rebels, he set the Boise State record for most passing yards in a game by a freshman, besting Kellen Moore's previous mark of 414 yards with 469 yards of his own. In the following game, Rypien topped his own record by passing for 506 yards against the New Mexico Lobos.
For Rypien's efforts he was named the first-team all-conference quarterback of the Mountain West Conference, becoming the first freshman to do so in the conference's 17-year history. In addition to earning first-team all-conference, Rypien was also awarded Freshman of the Year honors of the Mountain West.
Rypien and the Broncos finished the season with a 9–4 record, and concluded the season with a record-setting win in the Poinsettia Bowl against the Northern Illinois Huskies. Rypien also picked up the offensive MVP honor for this performance.
In Rypien's second year at Boise State, he was with new coordinators in Zak Hill and Scott Huff after Eliah Drinkwitz left to take a coordinator position at NC State. With the hire of new offensive coordinators, and Ryan Finley returning from a broken ankle, Bryan Harsin stated that there would be an open quarterback competition during spring practices.
On December 27, 2015 Alex Ogle announced his decision to transfer to Arizona Western College. There remained just two other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster entering spring practice competing against Rypien. On April 12, 2016, after the conclusion of spring practices, Ryan Finley announced he would also be transferring to North Carolina State after he graduated in May.
Rypien was named to three separate award watch lists before the start of fall camp. He was named to the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the top collegiate quarterback; the Maxwell Award, which goes to the top collegiate football player of the year; and the Walter Camp Award, which goes to the player of the year in college football. Also before the start of the season, Rypien was named as one of four team captains by his teammates, becoming the first sophomore captain in more than a decade for Boise State.
Rypien's first month of the season came with highs and lows. Off the football field, he lost both his grandmothers, but on the field he led the Broncos to a 5–0 start and earned offensive player of the week honors in the Mountain West Conference after throwing for 391 yards and five touchdowns in the first half against New Mexico.
After starting the season with seven wins, Rypien and the Broncos lost two of their last five games to finish the regular season at 10–2. For Rypien's efforts in the season he earned first-team all-conference honors, his second time receiving the honor.
On December 27, Rypien and Boise State matched up to play against Baylor in the Cactus Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. Baylor won the game and the Boise State Broncos finished their season with a record of 10–3.
In Rypien's third year at Boise State, he again was entering a season after an offensive coordinator had left. Co-offensive coordinator Scott Huff left to become the offensive line coach at the University of Washington. With the departure of Huff, remaining co-offensive coordinator Zak Hill will be Rypien's offensive coordinator for the season.
On December 26, 2016, the day before the bowl matchup between Boise State and Baylor, it was announced that Tommy Stuart would transfer after the end of the season. This left Rypien as the only quarterback on the roster with playing experience entering the 2017 season.
Rypien was named to four separate award watch lists before the start of fall camp. He was named to the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the top collegiate quarterback; the Maxwell Award, which goes to the top collegiate football player of the year; the Walter Camp Award, which goes to the player of the year in college football; and the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Also before the start of the season, Rypien represented the offensive side for Boise State at the Mountain West Football Media Days at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Rypien and the Broncos began the season with a win over the Troy Trojans. In that game, Rypien shared time with dual-threat quarterback Montell Cozart, a graduate transfer from Kansas. In the following game against Washington State, the second of the season, Rypien suffered an injury on a sack which forced him to leave the game before the end of the first quarter. As a result of the injury, Rypien missed the subsequent game against New Mexico.2017 stats are updated weekly, current as of September 14th vs New Mexico.
Rypien is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien. Mark won two Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins during the 1987 and 1991 campaigns, winning the Super Bowl MVP in the latter. Brett Rypien is also the cousin of Angela Rypien, a former LFL quarterback, and cousins-once-removed of the late Rick Rypien, an NHL enforcer.