In stunning and tragic news, the Oklahoma State University Cowgirl basketball team has lost two of their coaching staff after a plane crash. Head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna both perished in a plane crash Thursday night in Perry County, Arkansas, along with two others on the aircraft. Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip before this weekend's previously scheduled double-header of games, which has now been cancelled.
"The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy," said OSU President Burns Hargis in a release. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the other victims."
Mike Holder, OSU vice president for athletics, said, "We are shocked by this terrible loss. 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, who was in his seventh season at OSU, guided the team to tremendous success under his watch, including five consecutive postseason bids and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008. The Cowgirls were 112-83 under Budke including a resounding win over Rice just last Sunday. Serna, also in her seventh season with OSU, worked with Budke at Louisiana Tech before coming to Stillwater.