According to reports from NewsOK.com and other news outlets in Oklahoma, a plane crash in Arkansas has resulted in the deaths of Oklahoma State's women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna.
The reports say two more people, including the pilot, who were not associated with Oklahoma State University, died in the crash. There were no survivors.
Budke and Serna were reportedly on a recruiting trip to Arkansas when the plane crashed near Perryville, about 45 miles west of Little Rock.
In a press release from the university, OSU president Burns Hargis said, "the Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy."
“Kurt was an exemplary leader and a man of character who had a profound impact on his student-athletes,” Hargis said. “He was an outstanding coach and a wonderful person. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Shelley, and their children, Sara, Alex and Brett."
"Miranda was an up-and-coming coach and an outstanding role model for our young ladies."
Under the guidance of Budke, the Cowgirls made the postseason in each of the past five seasons and have become a force in the Big 12, as well as on a national scale. Budke was in his seventh season at OSU with a record of 112-83.
Oklahoma State has announced that associate head coach Jim Littell will take over as interim head coach. The Cowgirls will not play games originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Serna was in her seventh season as an assistant at Oklahoma Sate and also worked under Budke as an assistant at Louisiana Tech. Serna was also the recruiting coordinator for the Cowgirls.
Once again, Oklahoma State will be forced to deal with a tragic loss. The OSU family is still feeling the pain of the loss of 10 men in a 2001 plane crash in Colorado, which involved the men's basketball team.
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