WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Tim Mullin, the winningest player in the history of men's tennis at Whitman College, is the 2002 recipient of the Borleske Trophy, which is presented annually to the outstanding male athlete at Whitman.
The trophy, which is awarded by a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.
Mullin set a new Whitman school record for career tennis victories earlier this spring, passing 1988 graduate Dave Olafsson, who held the record previously at 138. Mullin's most recent victory total, including singles and doubles matches, currently stands at 149. There is a possibility he will be invited next week to the NCAA Div. III national singles championship tournament.
According to the latest NCAA polls, Mullin is ranked No. 3 in the West Region and No. 24 nationally.
Following his freshman season, much of which he missed because of an ankle injury, Mullin was virtually unbeatable in Northwest Conference singles play. His final won-loss record against conference opponents was 39-7. Two of those losses carry an asterisk, in that the matches were abbreviated and did not follow the standard format (best two-of-three sets).
Mullin was undefeated during the NWC regular season as both a junior and senior. His only loss as a junior came during an abbreviated match in the consolation finals of the conference tournament, when there was little at stake for either team. His only loss as a senior was a three-set defeat during a wind-blown championship semifinal match.
Mullin capped his final two seasons by earning NWC "Player of the Year" and "Sportsman of the Year" honors. Both awards are awarded by a vote of conference coaches.
"Tim has been the heart and soul of our men's tennis team the past four years," Whitman tennis coach Jeff Northam said. "He led by example, and he showed those around him how to compete well and accept victory and defeat with equal grace. He will be sorely missed."
During Mullin's four seasons, the Whitman men's team compiled a 44-11 won-loss record against NWC foes. The Missionaries won the conference team title at the end of his sophomore campaign. That season, he and teammate Eric Bartee also qualified and competed in the NCAA Div. III national doubles championships. They were the first Missionaries in more than a decade to compete in the national tournament.
Mullin capped his junior season by earning a berth in the NCAA Div. III national singles championships.
Mullin, a graduate of Sprague High School in Salem, Ore., graduates from Whitman later this month with a degree in geology. He plans to enroll at Fort Hays State University in Kansas this August to work on a master's degree in geology. Mullin is the son of Darleen and Clement Mullin of Salem.
The Borleske Trophy at Whitman honors Raymond V. Borleske, who achieved legendary status as a player and later as a coach at Whitman during the first half of the 20th century. He starred on Whitman's football and baseball teams, and he was first football player from the Northwest to be recognized by Walter Camp's Spaulding Football Guide. After graduating from Whitman and earning a law degree, Borleske returned to campus in 1915 to begin a coaching career that continued until 1947.