By The Associated Press
STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team will not play its games over the weekend after the team’s head coach and assistant coach were killed in a plane crash.
Head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed when the single-engine plane they were riding in during a recruiting trip crashed Thursday night in central Arkansas.
OSU vice president for athletics Mike Holder said in a news release Friday says the school is “shocked by this terrible loss.” He said associate head coach Jim Littell would assume duties as interim coach, and the Cowgirls would not play home games scheduled Saturday against Grambling State and Sunday against Texas-Arlington.
OSU counselors were offering assistance to the team and staff on Friday.
Mulkey remembers Budke
Baylor women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey released a statement Friday expressing her condolances:
“I was devastated when I received the call this morning, I just looked at my son and started crying. My first thoughts went to Kurt Budke’s wife, his children and Miranda Serna’s family.
“I felt connected to Kurt through Coach Barmore and his association with Louisiana Tech and I also recruited some of his players while he was at Trinity Valley and of course through the Big 12. He and his staff have done an outstanding job at Oklahoma State and I am sure his work will be carried on there.
“It just hits home with all of us in this profession that truly we just coach a game. There’s a bigger picture out there and it’s not a basketball game, it puts life in perspective. I feel for the Oklahoma State community, how many more tragedies can they endure? I told Jim Littell (associate head coach) this morning, whatever we can do, please allow us to do it.
“Oklahoma State and women’s basketball have lost two more fine people and our thoughts are with the families and Cowgirl student-athletes during this most difficult time.”