The news of the tragic plane crash that killed Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and two others has shocked the OSU community as well as the sports community across the nation.
While returning from a recruiting trip Thursday night the single-engine, four-seat Piper PA-28 Cherokee crashed about four miles south of Perryville Arkansas which about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Across the state Friday universities, fans and friends are expressing their condolences for the families of those that perished as well as for the entire Oklahoma State community.
"It certainly a shock to me because Kurt Budke was a dear friend," said former OSU head coach Eddie Sutton. "Not only was he an outstanding coach but he was a quality human being and he's going to be dearly missed."
"This is a sad day for the OSU Cowboy Nation. I'm stunned and saddened that another tragedy has hit our basketball program," said Boone Pickens in a statement.
"My heart goes out to so many….Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna's families as well as the members of the OSU Women's Basketball team who have been touched by their passionate commitment to sportsmanship, competition and an unwavering focus on responsibility," added Pickens. "I grew to know and respect Coach Budke during his seven-year coaching history at OSU. His star burned bright and his loss will sadden yet strengthen the University of generations to come."
"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," said OU women's basketball coach Sherri Coale.
"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," added Coale. Additionally, we are praying for the entire Oklahoma State women's basketball family."
"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," said OU President David L. Boren. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We are sadden by this tragic loss for the entire OSU community."
"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," said OU Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione. "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."
"All of us at Oklahoma City University extend our support to our colleagues and friends at Oklahoma State University in the face of this terrible tragedy. We send our brothers and sisters at Oklahoma State University our deepest condolences, and our prayers to the families and friends of Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna, and the two others who lost their lives in Arkansas last night."
"Coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna dedicated their lives to the game that we all love. The outpouring of love, respect and tears from all those whose lives they touched is testament to their outstanding abilities not just as coaches, but as people," said Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "The Thunder organization and the Oklahoma basketball family are saddened by this tragedy that has struck Oklahoma State University. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who were lost."
OCU President Robert Henry said "Great coaches are, in their way, like great parents. They inspire, they discipline, they encourage and they help talented young people turn into wonderful adults. Our prayers and condolences go out to President and Mrs. Hargis and the OSU family, and especially to the families of and the athletes coached by these deeply-respected coaches."
"The loss of Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna has shocked and saddened all of us,:" said Governor Mary Fallin in a statement. "In addition to working to reshape the OSU women's basketball program into a top 10 contender, both coaches were mentors and role models to countless young women. They will be remembered as great coaches and great people who made all of Oklahoma proud. I am asking all Oklahomans to keep the OSU community, the women's basketball team, and the family and many friends of Coach Budke and Coach Serna in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with this terrible tragedy."
"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," said OU men's basketball coach Lon Kruger. "We're all thinking about everyone in the Oklahoma State family affected by this terrible tragedy."
"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," said OU football coach Bob Stoops. "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."
"Kurt had been a good friend of mine for almost 20 years. Our relationship goes back to junior-college days in Kansas, and it continued to grow as we had been fortunate in getting kids to come here to Oklahoma City University from Oklahoma State," said OCU women's basketball coach Rob Edmisson. "He helped those kids continue to succeed. His legacy will always be helping kids. Our heart goes out to his family at such a difficult time.
"He was a great ambassador of women's basketball. Having coached at Oklahoma State, I fully respect the job his staff has done with that program," said Edmisson. "It's a tribute to his commitment to success. Most importantly, Kurt was a great father and husband, and that's what he will be remembered for. He will be missed."
Hundreds of former athletes as well as athletes across the state have expressed their thoughts and prayers for the families through Twitter.
Megan Byford: (Former OSU basketball player)
"Coach Budke always told us that in our program and his life it was God first, family second and basketball third."
Mike Gundy: (OSU Head Football Coach)
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Kurt and Miranda."
Brandon Weeden: (OSU quarterback)
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the Budke and Serna families. Two great people."
Kenny Mossman: (OU Associate Athletic Director)
"No rivalry today. Just hurting friends. We hurt with them."
Big 12 Conference:
"While college athletics thrives on competition, we are a family when tragedy strikes. Oklahoma State and the families of those killed in the plane crash are in the thoughts and prayers of all of us in the Big 12 Conference."
Justin Blackmon: (OSU wide receiver)
"Thoughts and prayers go out to Budke and Serna family."
Marshall Moses: (Former OSU basketball player)
"Coach Budke was an EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT coach, and Coach Serna believed in me when no one else did. She always encouraged me."
Peter Uihlein: (Former OSU golfer )
"RIP Coach Budke and Coach Serna. Entire OSU family lost two great people last night. Thoughts and prayers go out to their families."
Blake Griffin: (Former OU basketball player)
"Thoughts and prayers go out to the OK state women's bball squad. So sad."
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe:
"Our hearts break for the #OkState family over this tragic loss. Kay and I pray for the families of Budke and Serna, and the OSU family."
U.S. Representative John Sullivan:
"Thoughts and prayers go out to OSU women's Basketball Coach Budke and Serna. God bless!"
Gavin Lang: (OSU Associate Director of Communications)
"Kurt Budke was a great man and a great coach. Miranda Serna was as nice as they come. Crushed for their families."
Andrew McGee: (Former OSU football player)
"Wow, I can't believe this! Praying for the Budke family, and the OSU girls basketball team."
Cowgirl Tennis: (OSU Women's Tennis Team)
"OSU has lost two great people. There are no words to express our feelings about Kurt and Miranda except to say how much they will be missed!"
Cowboy Wrestling: (OSU Wrestling Team)
"Thoughts and prayers with the OSU Women's Basketball family!"
Whitney Hand: (OU women's basketball player)
"Praying for the entire OSU family. Life is so precious. We love you all and are with you through this."
Danielle Robinson: (Former OU women's basketball player, now plays for San Antonio Stars)
"Praying for the whole OSU family! Life is just too short. We are all with you through this tough time."
Robert Allen: (OSU Football sideline reporter)
"Absolutely as sad as news can be. Kurt Budke + Coach Serna full of life. I teased Coach Budke about being mayor of Stillwater. Prayers+Love"
Dean Blevins: (News9 Sports Director):
"My deepest sympathies to OSU women's basketball Coach Kurt Budke's family and longtime asst Miranda Serena--Kurt was a tremendous person & coach."
OU Compliance Office:
"Prayers up for Oklahoma State Athletics and their families. Heaven will love the bright orange sportscoat. God's grace be with them all."