Kurt Budke was tragically killed in a plane crash on Thursday as the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys women's basketball program was returning from a recruiting trip in Arkansas. The plane crash also claimed three other people, one of which was assistant coach Miranda Serna.
The university is obviously going to have to endure a long grieving process as they work to get through the second plane crash in just over 10 years that will have affected one of its basketball teams -- 10 players and staff members from the men's program were killed in a plane crash in 2001 -- with the school already canceling a few of its upcoming games.
Mike Holder, the Oklahoma State vice president for athletics, announced on Friday that the Cowgirls will not play games that were scheduled on Saturday and Sunday as counselors and athletic staff offer assistance to the Cowgirl student-athletes and staff.
"We are shocked by this terrible loss. Kurt Budke was an incredibly positive influence on his players and was a tremendous coach," Holder told The Oklahoman. "He quickly turned our program around and put Cowgirl basketball on the map. Miranda was a tireless worker and great recruiter."
Holder also announced that Jim Littell will assume duties as interim head coach. Littell has spent the last seven seasons as the team's associate head coach.