Oklahoma State Coach with Chicago Ties, Killed in Plane Crash

Kurt Budke, OSU women's basketball coach, and assistant coach, Miranda Serna, former recruiting coordinator at Chicago State, died.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Oklahoma State head coach Kurt Budke, left, talks to his team during a time out in an exhibition college basketball game.

    A former recruiting coordinator at Chicago State University died in a plane crash in central Arkansas Thursday night while traveling with her Oklahoma State women's basketball colleagues.

    Miranda Serna was killed when the single-engine plane crashed near Perryville at about 7 p.m., about 45 miles west of Little Rock.

    "The Oklahoma State family is devastated by this tragedy," OSU President Burns Hargis said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of (head coach) Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and other victims.

    Serna spent the 2001-2002 season as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Chicago State, according to the university's website.

    Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip to Arkansas, according to the university statement, and two other individuals, including the pilot were killed. There were no survivors of the crash.

    The cause of the crash is unknown, and the National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending investigators, but it could take nine months to determine the cause, according to the Times.

    Mike Holder, OSU vice president for athletics, said the associate head coach, Jim Littell, would assume duties as the interim head coach, and the university said the Cowgirls would not play games scheduled for the weekend, according to the university's statement.

    This is the second plane crash involving OSU sports teams this decade. When the OSU men's basketball team returned from a game in Colorado on Jan. 27, 2001, one of three planes carrying the players and those associated with the team, crashed in a field 40 miles east of Denver.