Tragedy has befallen Oklahoma State athletics for the second time in just over 10 years.

Oklahoma State women’s basketball head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed last night in a plane crash.  The crash in Perry County, Arkansas also killed the plane’s pilot and a fourth person on the plane.

The 50 year-old Budke was in his seventh season as the Cowgirls head coach.  Oklahoma State has announced the cancellation of two Cowgirl games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.  Associate head coach Jim Littell will take over as the interim head coach.

“The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy,” said OSU President Burns Hargis.  “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.

“Coach Budke elevated our women’s basketball program to new levels of success,” Hargis said. “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.”

10 years ago, 10 people associated with the Oklahoma State Men’s Basketball team were killed in a plane crash in Colorado.