2 Oklahoma State coaches, former state senator killed in plane crash
Oklahoma State University women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed in Thursday's crash.
November 18th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

2 Oklahoma State coaches, former state senator killed in plane crash

[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] Former Oklahoma state Sen. Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula, were among the four killed in Thursday night's fatal plane crash in Arkansas, Oklahoma State University spokesman Gary Schutt told reporters Friday.

The other two victims were earlier identified as Oklahoma State University women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna.

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[Updated at 10:17 a.m. ET] Oklahoma State University women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna were killed Thursday night in a plane crash in Arkansas, the university confirmed Friday.

Two others - including the pilot - also were killed in the crash in Perry County, Arkansas. Those victims were not affiliated with the university, and there were no survivors. The university did not provide any information on the cause of the crash.

Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip, the university said in a statement.

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

“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."

Serna "was an up-and-coming coach and an outstanding role model for our young ladies,” Hargis said.

KOCO: Oklahoma State devastated by tragedy, university president says

The school said associate head coach Jim Littell would become interim head coach. The team will not play games scheduled Saturday and Sunday, the school said.

Budke, in his seventh season as OSU coach, had a record of 112-83 and five postseason appearances at the school. Last season, the team earned its first-ever top-10 national ranking and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The crash comes nearly 11 years after a plane crash killed people affiliated with OSU's men's basketball team. Two OSU men's basketball players, six others affiliated with the team and a pilot and copilot were killed when a small plane crashed in a farm field 30 miles east of Denver in January 2001. That aircraft was one of three carrying the men's basketball team and others from the school back to Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a game against the University of Colorado.

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Filed under: Basketball • College basketball • Oklahoma • Sports
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Name*Nate

    You are an idiot.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. bvaalen

    That comment was ridiculously unnecessary.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Me

    CNN, please remove the insensitive and moronic comments previously posted by "OWS TODAY"

    November 18, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Name*Nate

    its a shame it wasn't you.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. OWS NOW

    These conservatives are all opressing us young people.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Name*Nate

    are you kidding me? These were probably 2 mothers and/or wives.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. fellow occupier

    It states they were recruiters. Military recruiters are invading our college campuses and spreading a war mentality. Lets protest those in the place wreck.

    November 18, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TM

      It states they were recruiting, meaning they were recruiting basketball players to come to the college...know what you are talking about before you just spew stupidty on the screen.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • nkm

      These were not military recruiters, they were basketball recruiters! Your hateful remarks are not doing your cause any good.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You are a complete and utter moron. Your parents should be ashamed of themselves for raising such an idiot. The "recruiters" were doing a basketball recruiting trip. Nothing to do with the military or anything of the kind. Maybe now you can take your head out of your butt and understand the real world.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. fineart

    What you said, if you did say it is an outrage and the lowest any human can stoop in the face of their fellow man. Don't even try to involve the O/M. You are on your own and will have to answer for what you said.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nic

    You idiot, recruiting for their basketball team. You people are disgusting. Shame on you. RIP to those killed.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. max

    Please tell me you are not old enough to vote because based on your comment I know you are not smart enough.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. It is sad

    My heart goes out to the victims and family. It is sad that the Tea Party gang has chosen to envade this thread.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jersey George

    I can't believe the number of low-lifes that inhabit this board. Really disgusting!

    November 18, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. OWS NOW is fake

    Ironic... OWS NOW is trying to make the OWS movement look horrible, but that person is obviously not actually someone aligned with the movement, and in fact is likely some tea bagger. Again, it shows how low the right wing in this country will go.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      relax, nobody cares and why should OWS get some sort of protection, screw OWS and screw special interests

      November 18, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. DavidD

    Hey OWS -I truly hope the police ram a baton up your ass as far as it will go and then whip your ass until you can't see out of your eyes. you are a piece of crap.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    OK, now I want to know what OWS TODAY said.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • NeutralMind

      ME TOO!

      November 18, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
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