UPDATE: With statement from TVCC
Oklahoma State University officials confirmed this morning that head women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke was killed Thursday night in a plane crash in central Arkansas.
Also killed was assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others not associated with the university.
“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.”
Budke is best known in Henderson County as the head coach of the Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals from 1993-2000. During that time, he lead the Lady Cardinals to four national championships.
TVCC President Dr. Glendon Forgey released the following statement this morning:
“Coach Budke was an amazing coach and an exemplary man. Our prayers go out to the families of Coach Budke and Miranda Serna today as they cope with this devastating news.
“Kurt was a great friend to Trinity Valley Community College. He put the Lady Cardinals on the national map, leading the team to its first national championships. Through his great skill as a coach and his ability to have a profound effect on the lives of his players, he built the reputation that the TVCC Lady Cardinal Basketball still stands on today.
“Even after leaving Athens, he remained a friend of this institution and this community. He will be missed beyond measure.”
Budke leaves behind a wife and three children.
In 2008, he was inducted into the TVCC Hall of Fame. The following is his Hall of Fame bio from TVCC:
“Budke was the head coach of the Lady Cardinals from 1993 to 2000. During those seven years, the team appeared in the national tournament six times, winning four national championship titles. In Budke’s career at TVCC, the Lady Cardinals fell at home only two times. He led the team to some of their best season records ever, including an undefeated 36-0 season in 1999.
“At the junior college level, Budke has a combined record of 273-31 (.898), resulting in the highest winning percentage in NJCAA history.
“He was the NJCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1998 and was the Texas Coaches Association Coach of the Year for each of the four years the Lady Cardinals took the national title.
“In addition, he is the youngest coach to ever be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
“Budke left TVCC following the 2000 season to coach at Louisiana Tech. He is now the head coach at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.
In his second season at OSU, the Cowgirls reached the 20-win plateau and appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.”