Oklahoma State copes with 2nd crash in 10 years

November 19, 2011 - 2:05 AM
Fatal Plane Crash Coaches Killed Basketball

This Nov. 9, 2011 photo shows Oklahoman State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna during an an exhibition women's NCAA college basketball game against Fort Hays State, in Stillwater, Okla. Budke and Serna were killed when the single-engine plane they were riding in during a recruiting trip crashed near a wildlife management area in central Arkansas. The university said the pair died in the crash Thursday night, Nov. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Bryan Terry)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The second major tragedy in about a decade for Oklahoma State's sports program has conjured old emotions.

University officials say head women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and his assistant Miranda Serna were killed Thursday when the single-engine plane transporting them on a recruiting trip crashed in steep terrain in Arkansas. The pilot, 82-year-old former Oklahoma state Sen. Olin Branstetter, and his 79-year-old wife, Paula, also died when the plane spiraled out of control and nosedived into the Winona Wildlife Management Area near Perryville, about 45 miles west of Little Rock.

In January 2001, 10 men affiliated with the university's men's basketball team died in a Colorado plane crash.

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey says she feels for the Oklahoma State community and wonders how many more tragedies they can endure.