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Coaches' Pastor Says Both Put Faith First

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Jamie Oberg, News 9

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Family, friends and the entire Cowboy nation are mourning the loss of OSU women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Coach Miranda Serna.

Both were great coaches who put faith above basketball.

"As a coach he had very firm convictions, a very strong personality, but he had a real tenderness about him, a real family man," St. John's University Parish pastor, Father Stuart Crevcoure said. "I know he was the same way with his players."

The entire OSU family is at a loss.

"I was profoundly shocked, I didn't have the words to speak to this situation in that moment," Fr. Crevcoure said.

At Mass on Sunday he knows he will have to speak to parishioners after losing two of their own and why something so tragic happened at OSU again.

"We can ask God why as often as we want. God tends to make the answers clear to us as we walk the journey."

OSU Cowgirls basketball players, students and faculty must now walk through the gym, campus and life without Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna again.

Father Crevcoure says Coach Budke and Serna went to Mass at his church and both put their faith in God above all else. Players remember Coach Budke teaching them about priorities in life.

Faith First

Education Second.

Basketball Third.

"I remember talking to Miranda once about it's not so different from a pastor and his congregation, than a coach and player, you know? The care and concern that needs to be there to form that relationship and she agreed 100 percent."

He says the coaches also learned in Stillwater that faith and family go hand in hand.

"They both often said it[faith] helped make them who they are,"

Now, the university is gathering up strength and focusing on the coaches' immediate families.

"It's something that shocks us and grieves us, but often times it's the thing that helps us to find what our lives really rest upon which is God's love for us," Fr. Crevcoure said.

"The reason for things are just not always appear."

Together, he has faith that the team and the church family can start the healing process.

The Budke family also attends Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

We're told both churches are working together to help anyway they can.

You can leave your condolences on News9.com. Click on the orange OSU banner.

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