Kurt Budke, the head coach of the Oklahoma St. Cowboys women's basketball program, was killed in a plane crash on Thursday. Budke had been the head coach at Oklahoma State since 2005 after holding the same position at Louisiana Tech since 2002.
Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were on their way back from a recruiting trip in Arkansas when their small plane crashed, according to a report from Oklahoma's News On 6. Two others, not associated with the university, also passed away in the crash.
Coach Budke had led the Oklahoma State women's program to postseason appearances in each of the past five seasons, reaching the second round of the WNIT in 2011. He compiled a 423-104 win-loss record in his coaching career.
The university released the following statement.
"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. Coach Budke elevated our women's basketball program to new levels of success. He and his staff raised our profile in the nation's toughest conference. Miranda was an up-and-coming coach and an outstanding role model for our young ladies."
It's a heartbreaking situation for the school as the plane crash comes just over 10 years after a plane crash in January, 2001, killed 10 players and personnel associated with the Oklahoma State men's basketball program.