Oklahoma State AD: Kurt Budke 'Quickly Turned Our Program Around'

The campus of Oklahoma State is in our thoughts this morning as the news comes out about the tragic plane crash that killed the women's basketball coaching staff.

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Oklahoma State AD: Kurt Budke 'Quickly Turned Our Program Around'

In a statement released by the Tulsa World News, Oklahoma State Athletic Director Mike Holder put forth his first statement concerning the tragic loss of women’s basketball head coach Mike Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. He also began to make some of the moves necessary for the future of the program.

“On Friday morning, OSU athletic director Mike Holder said Jim Littell, associate head coach of the OSU women’s team, has been designated the interim head coach,” wrote Bill Haisten and Kelly Hines. “Shutt said OSU counselors and athletic staff are offering assistance to the Cowgirl players and staff.”

“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. Miranda was a tireless worker and great recruiter.”

Kurt Budke had a career coaching record of 112-83.

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Oklahoma State Plane Crash: President Burns Hargis Makes Official Statement

Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis is the latest person to release a statement to the media through the university to the press concerning the tragic plane crash that took the lives of women’s basketball head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. For a campus that just endured a similar tragedy approximately 10 years ago, it’s devastating on a number of levels.

Hargis’ statement reads, "The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy. 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. 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."

Details of the plane crash have not been made available at this time, but it’s known that the two were on a recruiting trip for the Cowgirls. Two others also unfortunately perished in the plane crash, including the pilot. The other person’s name has not yet been released.

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Oklahoma State Plane Crash: Next Two Women's Basketball Games Cancelled In Light Of Tragedy

With the Oklahoma State campus in a state of mourning and the athletic department in a state of confusion trying to even figure out what to do in the shadow of such a tragedy, it’s not a surprise that the Cowgirls have cancelled the next two games on the women’s basketball schedule. As OSU has officially released a statement, “The Cowgirls were scheduled to play a pair of weekend games – hosting Grambling State on Saturday and Texas-Arlington on Sunday – but both have been canceled.”

The loss of head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna has rocked the OSU campus last night and this morning as news unfolds about a small airplane crash just 45 miles west of Little Rock. Four people died in total, including the pilot, although details have not yet been released about the cause of the crash.

The pair of coaches were on a recruiting trip. It’s uncertain when the OSU women’s team will begin to play again, but for now the next two games have been called off.

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Oklahoma State Plane Crash: Details Now Coming Out About Kurt Budke's, Miranda Serna's Trip

The tragic plane crash carrying several people, including the head coach and an assistant form the Oklahoma State women’s basketball program was part of a recruiting trip for the coaches, according to a report this morning. Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna were among the four people who died on board a small plane that crashed in Arkansas just last night.

Phil Price reports, “Officials with Oklahoma State University confirm that head women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna have died in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip to Arkansas. The crash happened in a heavily wooded area near the town of Perryville in central Arkansas Thursday night. The pilot of the single-engine plane and another passenger not affiliated with the school were also killed. Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip.”

The plane went down in Perryville, 45 miles west of Little Rock, Ark. The pilot and one more unnamed passenger also died in the incident.

More reports will undoubtedly unfold as the day goes on.

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Oklahoma State Plane Crash: Kurt Budke Had Turned Around Women's Basketball Program

The tragic deaths of four people in a plane crash in Arkansas last night included two members of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coaching staff on a recruiting trip: head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. They were both part of a tremendous program that had helped turn the Oklahoma State women’s basketball program around in recent years to enjoy its greatest run of success to date.

According to the university bio, “During his six seasons in Stillwater, Kurt Budke has orchestrated one of the most remarkable turnarounds ever witnessed on the college basketball landscape. As head coach of the Oklahoma State women’s program, he has elevated the Cowgirls to the national stage and provided a consistent postseason presence for the first time in more than a decade. Under his direction, OSU has made postseason appearances in each of the past five seasons after reaching the second round of the WNIT in 2011.”

Just last year, Budke’s team had an incredible six wins against Top 25 teams. He certainly had the Cowgirls on the rise not only in the Big 12 but on the national scene. Now a campus and conference mourn and grieve for what has been tragically lost. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the OSU family this morning.

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