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.


[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 (66 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    CNN please take all the insensitive junk off.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. stymie

    You make me sick TXfan! I'm from Stillwater, and I knew 2 people killed ten years when OSU plane went down in Colorado. I don't have to know anyone on this flight, and my heart is broken again.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. boomer sooner

    As an oklahoman, i am proud to support all athletic talents and programs in this lovely state. we lost some good people today but heaven gained new friends, RIP.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. mR.KENNEDY.........KENNEDY

    My Thought and Prayers goes to the family and friends of the victims in that crash and to those who want to make a moment of mourning into a political field GET A LIFE AND GROW UP!!!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME

    November 18, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |


    November 18, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. Angel

    Our condolences to the families and friends.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. petem

    People died in a plane crash,let them rest in peace.basketball recruiters or armed forces recruiters, who cares,innocent lives were lost period

    November 18, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. The real Cousin iIt

    My prayers go out to the families.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |


    November 18, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. The real Cousin It

    Two more and we will have the trolls off.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. layminister herman

    May the father be with the familys and comfort them,while reassuring them that this absense of their loved ones is only temporary and that as long as they believe in the father and the son they will be rejoined with them in paridise.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Manor flash


    November 18, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marcus in Texas

    How do we know this isnt a conspiracy involving both Penn State and the greedy profit at any cost corporate executives? These corporate types bet big money on college basketball. I think a congressional committee should be established to investigate the involvement of big banks in this matter.

    November 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |

      SHUT UP!

      November 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |

      People lost their lives and all you can think about is a scandal? Please get a life!

      November 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Coach J

    My prayers for the family,they where doing what they loved

    November 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. noemi

    Ppl who post should taste there words before posting.most aren't using there heads before posting just a clue its that thing that sits 3 ft above your a$$. May the loard be with the familys of all who were lost.

    November 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
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