After growing up and attending high school in Spokane, Raymond Vincent Borleske came to Whitman College and starred as a running back, defender and kicker on the football team and was a standout pitcher, catcher and third baseman on the baseball team. He captained both squads for his final two years at Whitman. After earning numerous accolades, including All-American honors in football and repeated all-Northwest Conference honors in baseball, Borleske graduated from Whitman in 1910 and is regarded to this day as one of the top athletes to ever come through Whitman College.
R.V. Borleske went on to receive his law degree from the University of Oregon and returned to Whitman to coach football, baseball and basketball. He won conference championships with football in 1921, 1928, 1930 and 1931. His baseball teams finished with a combined record of 530-368 and 10 conference championships while even his basketball teams enjoyed success, winning 7 conference championships in one 12-year span.
Borleske retired in 1947 and served two mayoral terms in Walla Walla while coaching American Legion baseball. Borleske died on January 2, 1957, just six days shy of his 70th birthday.
In 1940, Borleske Stadium was named after the highly decorated athlete and coach, ensuring his legacy to this day. The Borleske Trophy bears his name as well. This award is the most prestigious athletic award offered to male athletes at Whitman College, a salute to four years of athletic excellence. The female version of this award is named after R.V.’s spouse, Mignon Borleske, a Whitman physical education and dance instructor for nearly 40 years. Borleske was posthumously inducted into the Whitman Athletics Hall of Fame (first class), the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame (first person).