Joined: 12 Nov 2010
|Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:56 am Post subject: Sad news - Oklahoma St coach dies in plane crash
Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna have died in a plane crash along with two others, just 10 months after the school commemorated the 10th anniversary of a crash that killed 10 men associated with the men's program.
The plane went down Thursday night in Perry County, Ark., the school said in a news release, killing the pilot and another individual not affiliated with the university.
Budke, 50, had opened his seventh season as the Cowgirls' coach on Sunday with a 96-60 win over Rice in Stillwater.
"The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy," OSU president Burns Hargis said Friday in the statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims.
The school has canceled the team's games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday against Grambling State and Texas-Arlington.
Associate head coach Jim Littell will take over as interim head coach, school VP for athletics Mike Holder said.
"We are shocked by this terrible loss," Holder said in the news release. "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."
On Jan. 27, 2001, a plane that took off near Boulder, Colo., after a men's game went down east of Denver, killing two players, four team officials, a play-by-play announcer, a radio engineer and two pilots.
Budke, born June 3, 1961, leaves wife, Shelley, daughter Sara, who is a student at Oklahoma State, and sons Alex and Brett.
Budke had turned the Cowgirls around from a team that finished winless in the Big 12 in his first season to a perennial conference contender.
In 2010 he led them to the program's most successful season, as they reached the second round of the NCAA tournament after a school-record six wins over Top 25 teams. They also finished with a top-10 ranking for the first time, recording 24 victories. Oklahoma State advanced to the second round of the WNIT in 2011, the Cowgirls' fifth straight postseason appearance.
Budke, a 1984 graduate of Washburn University, earned a masters degree at Wichita State in 1985. As a player, he earned all-conference honors at Barton County Junior College in 1981.
The Salina, Kan., native came to Oklahoma State from Louisiana Tech after coaching stops that included Allen County Community College and Friends University in Kansas, and Trinity Valley Community College in Texas.
Budke had brought Serna with him from Louisiana Tech. She had also coached at Fresno State, Chicago State and Long Beach State.
"Miranda was a tireless worker and great recruiter," Holder said.
Serna played on Budke's 1996 national championship team at Trinity Valley Community College and was an assistant coach on his 1999 national championship team at the school.
"Miranda is a rising young star in this business and I think one of the greatest recruiters in this nation," Budke had said of Serna after announcing her hire in March 2005.