Kurt Budke, OSU Women’s Coach, Dies in Plane Crash

Oklahoma State University women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna have been killed in a plane crash in central Arkansas, OSU officials said.

According to OSU, Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip to Arkansas when the single engine plane they were riding in went down. Two others, including the pilot, died along with the OSU coaches. There were no survivors.

“The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy,” OSU President Burns Hargis said in a news release earlier this morning. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims.”

Hargis added:

“Kurt was an exemplary leader and a man of character who had a profound impact on his student-athletes. 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.”

The sad news of Budke and Serna’s deaths comes just months before the 11-year anniversary of another horrible crash that took the lives of 10 men associated with the OSU men’s program.

Mike Holder, OSU vice president for athletics, said associate head coach Jim Littell would take over as the interim head coach.

“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.”

According to Reuters, Kurt Budke, 50, was in his seventh season as coach at Oklahoma State, where he posted an all-time record of 112-83 and lead his squad to post season appearances in each of the past five seasons.

via USA Today