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OSU Plane Crash Victims Once Led Texas Teams

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Oklahoma State University basketball coaches, killed in a plane crash, both had ties to Texas.

Women’s basketball head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna, a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce, were killed when the single engine plane they were traveling in for a recruiting trip went down in Arkansas.

Both Budke and Serna were preparing their team to face the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) on November 20.

UTA coach Samantha Morrow said she and her players are in a state of shock.

“You just can’t imagine that happening to a colleague that you know, or anyone that you know,” she said. “And then for it to happen to Oklahoma State… ya know not long, what 10, 11 years after they had the other tragic accident there. It’s just shock and disbelief.”

Morrow was referring to a 2001 plane crash that took the lives of 10 men affiliated with the OSU men’s basketball team. That crash happened as the group was returning Oklahoma after a game in Colorado.

The game against UTA, on Sunday, and another against Grambling University, on Saturday, have both been cancelled.
Before heading to Oklahoma Budke and Serna were a team here in Texas at Trinity Valley Community College, in Athens.

“She [Serna] played ball here and was the national championship winner in 1996, under his [Budke] coaching,” explained the college athletic director, Lucy Strom. “After she finished school, she came back and helped him to finish up his last few years here at Trinity Valley.”

Travis Moss, the president of the North Texas chapter of the OSU Alumni Association, said most major universities use planes for travel and recruiting and that once again that has left those that love OSU, “in the face of another terrible tragedy.”

OSU alumni in Dallas gathered for a watch party Friday night to cheer on their beloved Cowboys take on Iowa State in football. They wore orange ribbons to honor the two coaches.

“The community at Oklahoma State; you can’t find a closer-knit family. It kind of rips the heart right out of you,” said Paul Pierce, who graduated OSU in 1988.

Kurt Budke, 50, had a wife and three children. Miranda Serna, 36, is survived by her parents and a sister.

No word when the Oklahoma State women’s basketball team will resume play.

The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation.

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