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. JohnCashMF!

    Thank god for the 2nd Ammendment....Bullseye > OWS NOW

    November 18, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. JohnCashMF!

    Imagine if we just purged everyone in OWS, the unemployment numbers would plummet nicely 🙂

    November 18, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jersey George

      Low-life troll!

      November 18, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Seriously

    I can't believe the callousness and audacity of some people!

    @fellow occupier they were not recuiters invading campuses and spreading anything. They were the coaches, out looking at talented young ladies to bring to their school.

    @OWS NOW – You're mother must have never told you "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

    It's pathetic that lives were lost and all people can say is terrible and rude things

    November 18, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. okstate

    Not again.... Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Stillwater family.

    To the so called "occupier" guy and his numerous pseudonymous. It is obvious your not involved with the OWS movement, your tactics on this page are shameful and disrespectful.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Just unbelievable the insensitive comments people can make in the wake of this tragedy for the Oklahoma State University family. Shame on you.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sachin

    As an OSU Alumni, I am deeply saddenned by this loss. RIP .

    November 18, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    That was pretty stupid of you to make that remark no matter what you think of the scandal at Penn state. Shame on you.

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

    I don't know what's worse, the fact that 4 people died in the crash, or the fact that the commentariat is arguing about politics in this thread. Show some respect, jeez.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Marci

    To the family and friends of the victims of this terrible accident, May you find peace from the memories cherish. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. a in austin

    My prayers to the families and school. What a terrible tragedy to have to relive again.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. HOG

    OWS is obviously a disgruntled OU fan!!!! It's OK because Karma is a B!@$%@!!!!! Sorry for your lose OSU!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. OUSooner

    Such a sad day for Oklahomans. The families of those lost and the entire OSU community are in my thoughts, my deepest of condolences to you all.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. TXFAN

    They bought their tickets, they knew the risk. RIP... Life goes on!... let's move on people!!

    November 18, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      I know you are just a troll and your are not really a Texas fan, but STFU.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • NeutralMind

      Wow. Would you say the same thing if it were your parents?

      November 18, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scottish Mama

    My thoughts are with the families of the deceased today.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. roberta

    What did OWS say? I missed it...

    November 18, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
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