Book by Sylvania native, former UT tennis player Brad Minns tells life growing up deaf

  • Brad-Minns

    Brad Minns

  • Brad Minns
    Brad Minns

    Brad Minns sat down about 10 years ago to write a memoir on a life riddled with pain when he encountered a new one.

    “It was a challenge,” said Minns, a Sylvania native and a former University of Toledo tennis standout.

    His prolonged case of writer’s block is over, and Minns is ready to inspire. Never Give Up!, a book trumpeting the various challenges tackled by the deaf 47-year-old, soon will be available for sale.

    The title of the book is a no-brainer because, as Minns said, “Every story is a never-give-up story.” He lost his hearing at age 3 to a fever, never learned sign language, and yet flourished in mainstream classrooms. His prolific tennis career, which remains strong today with the U.S. Deaflympics team, began humbly with Minns taking the title as “the worst on the court.” He earned a full-ride scholarship at Toledo and played No. 1 singles for the Rockets.

    His trials to a career in bodybuilding and modeling followed a similar trajectory. Frail and anti-social growing up, Minns gained confidence from weightlifting, and before long he scored big, winning $50,000, a Corvette, and a chance to meet his idol: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, he first had to recover from an injury that threatened to derail those plans.

    “The good Lord has blessed me with so many incredible stories in my life,” Minns said.

    Minns also tells a story, a funny one, of the challenges he faced proposing to his wife. A condensed version: Minns’ plan to pop the question unraveled amid bad weather and poor timing. He ultimately broke through weeks later in Orlando while on stage at an Indiana Jones production.

    Minns, a devout Christian, said he wrote the book to promote family values and marriage. Additionally, he wants to raise money for Starkey Hearing Foundation and USA Deaf Tennis. Minns will be a player-coach for the Americans at the Summer Deaflympics, July 26 to Aug. 4 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    It was at the 1985 Games in Los Angeles that he overcame perhaps his most daunting challenge, one that led off the book. Trailing two sets to zero and down 5-0 in the third set, Minns rallied in five hours to capture gold. His opponent squandered 15 match points.

    “Who would not want to write a book about a match like that?” Minns said.

    Never Give Up! can be ordered at or on Minns, who is self-publishing, said he expects to receive his initial shipment of books early next week.

    Contact Ryan Autullo at:, 419-724-6160, or on Twitter @AutulloBlade