Oklahoma State Mourns Loss of Women's Basketball Coaches Killed in Plane Crash

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2011

Tragedy has struck the college sports world once again today, as Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna died in a plane crash. 

As reported by Tulsa World, the two were on a recruiting trip and the small plane went down in Arkansas. 

Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Shutt stated that the pilot and one other passenger, both not associated with the university, also passed away.

In a statement released by the school, university president Burns Hargis said, "The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims."

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder spoke of how hard-working both Budke and Serna were.

'We are shocked by this terrible loss,' Holder said. 'Kurt Budke was an incredibly positive influence on his players and was a tremendous coach. He quickly turned our program around and put Cowgirl basketball on the map. Miranda was a tireless worker and great recruiter.'

Budke had been coaching the women's basketball team, also known as the Cowgirls, since 2005. He had been coaching basketball since 1991 and accumulated a record of 423-104. He was 50 years old and is survived by his wife Shelley, daughter Sara, who is a student at Oklahoma State, and sons Alex and Brett.

Serna had been an assistant for Budke for seven years, as they both worked together at Louisiana Tech before joining Oklahoma State. She also played for Budke on his 1996 national championship team at Trinity Valley Community College. 

This horrible accident comes 10 months after Oklahoma State commemorated the 10th anniversary of a crash that killed 10 men associated the Oklahoma State men's basketball team. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this heartbreaking news.