Several coaches and administrators from other Big 12 schools have stepped forward today with statements in regard to the plane crash that killed Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. Here are some of them:
Statement from Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair:
“The basketball world and college athletics has lost a great man and a great young assistant coach. Coach Budke has been the person that I’ve been the closest to in the league since we both joined. We both can trace our history back to Louisiana Tech as assistants. He was somebody I talked to regularly on the phone just about the game itself and the direction we were going. He was a devout family man and the conversation never stopped without us talking about our own kids, not just the players we coached. Miranda was one of the young rising stars in recruiting and as an assistant coach.
“I talked to him two weeks ago about general stuff on recruiting and possibly continuing to play after we went to the SEC. We both agreed it would probably take a few years, but we were both going to miss the games we’ve have over the past years.
“The man upstairs doesn’t tell us when and it’s just a tremendous tragedy and loss for Oklahoma State and their families. This is also the same day Bonfire fell 12 years ago and is a tragedy that Aggies will remember for the rest of their lives.
“Life is precious. We must enjoy it and we must respect it because it can be taken away at any time. I hope the basketball world and the sports world will honor Coach Budke and Miranda in the right way and help the rest of us realize how special our families and the extended families of our teams are.”
Statement from Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey:
“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 though 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.”
Statements from coaches and administrators at Oklahoma:
"I am devastated by the tragic news of the deaths of Kurt and Miranda. Kurt was a fantastic basketball coach and he was a tremendous competitor. More importantly, though, he was a devoted father and husband, and a humble but courageous leader of young people. Our hearts and prayers go out to Kurt’s wife, Shelley, and their children, and to Miranda’s family, and the families of the other victims as well. Additionally, we are praying for the entire Oklahoma State women’s basketball family.”
--University of Oklahoma Head Women’s Basketball Coach Sherri Coale
“All of us at the University of Oklahoma extend our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of Coaches Budke and Serna and those who lost their lives in the plane crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We are sadden by this tragic loss for the entire OSU community.”
--University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren
“We are profoundly saddened by the loss of Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and their traveling companions. The people at Oklahoma State are our colleagues and, more importantly, our friends. The OU family pledges its support to those at OSU. We understand that the period for grieving and recovery will be difficult and want them to know that they do not face it alone. As fellow Oklahomans, we want them to know that our hearts are broken too.”
--University of Oklahoma Vice President/Athletics Director Joe Castiglione
“This is tragic news and an extremely sad day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Budke and Serna families, as well as the families of the other victims. I’d known Kurt for many years and always admired and respected him for his work as a basketball coach and for the type of person he was. We’re all thinking about everyone in the Oklahoma State family affected by this terrible tragedy.”
--University of Oklahoma Head Men’s Basketball Coach Lon Kruger
“We want everyone at OSU to know that they have our prayers and support. Like them, we fail in finding the words that adequately capture our feelings. We feel devastated for the families that have been impacted, the Cowgirl basketball team, the athletics department and the entire university community. We share in your grief and sadness.”
--University of Oklahoma Head Football Coach Bob Stoops
Statements from Texas Tech women’s basketball coaches:
Texas Tech Head Coach Kristy Curry:
"Our staff is extremely heartbroken and devastated this morning to hear about Kurt and Miranda. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, staff, team and the entire Oklahoma State family.
Kurt was not only a great basketball coach, but an even better husband and dad. I have learned a lot through the years from Kurt on keeping the game in perspective. Any time we saw each other, sent a text or called, the first thing he would ask me is how Kelly and the girls were doing. He loved his family and treated his players and staff as a family.
Miranda was a bright young star in our business, but beyond that just a tremendous young lady. There are no words that can adequately express how we feel right now. It truly puts the game of basketball in perspective."
Texas Tech Assistant Coach Brooke Stoehr (Played at Louisiana Tech while Kurt Budke was associate head coach from 2000-02):
"My thoughts and prayers are with Kurt and Miranda's families as well as the whole Oklahoma State community. We lost two great human beings that positively impacted the lives of so many people.
I feel fortunate to have played under coach Budke at Louisiana Tech and learned so many valuable lessons from him. One of the most important things I will always remember about him was how much he loved his family and how proud he was of them.
Miranda was a great colleague and always had a smile on her face. She had an incredible willingness to give of herself and serve others. I feel honored to have been associated with both coach Budke and Miranda. They have left a lasting legacy and tremendous example for each one of us to follow as we try and move forward."
_ Jimmy Burch