Coaches and colleagues remember Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna

Texas A&M Head 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.

Tulane University Assistant Coach Doshia Woods

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Miranda. I first met her while coaching at Western Illinois and she coached at Chicago State. We hit it off right away joking about how we can get our feet wet together in coaching women’s basketball. We have always stayed in touch and often found a few minutes to chat on the recruiting trail. When I spent two years at Missouri we crossed paths often. We shared the bond of being Juco players, we bragged about how much that meant to us.

I can say that Miranda was someone who truly cared about her players and wanted the best for them. My heart is heavy as I write this, often the impact of assistants goes unnoticed to the media. However, Miranda was a person we all knew on the road, all respected her approach. She was a tireless worker and did everything with passion. My prayers go out to her family, the team, staff and university. They have truly lost someone special! I will always remember her smile and desire to be better today than she was yesterday. Too bad she won’t have a chance to be better tomorrow.

The last time I saw Miranda was at Nike Nationals Augusta, GA. She was limping and had a few scratches. But grinding like she always does, I asked why she was limping. She mentioned she had been in a car accident in Washington D.C. during another recruiting trip in the summer. She ALWAYS gave her all even when she didn’t feel the best!

Marshall University Associate Head Coach Roxanne White

Miranda always had a warm smile on the recruiting trail.  You could tell she truly loved being in the gym.  She had a great energy and presence about her.

Baylor Head 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 through 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.

Southern Methodist Head Coach Rhonda Rompola

The basketball community is such a close family. Losing two of our own really hits home. Our prayers are with the families, coaches and players.

Kansas Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson

I am shocked and saddened by the deaths of Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna. Most of my conversations with Kurt were about his family. He was a very proud husband and father. Miranda was a tireless recruiter full of energy and passion about her job. My heart goes out to both Kurt and Miranda’s families and the entire Oklahoma State family. Kurt and Miranda were both first class.

Kansas Men’s Head Coach Bill Self

Our hearts go out to the Budke, Serna and entire OSU family. No school has suffered and endured more than Oklahoma State University in recent memory. Kurt was a terrific guy and coach. We wish the best to the immediate and extended families as they comfort each other during this tragic time.

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 who 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.

Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma

The tragedy at Oklahoma State, which has known its share of tragedy in the past, leaves you with a helpless feeling.  My heart goes out to the families of Kurt and Miranda and everyone associated with the basketball program and university.

The women’s college basketball community just lost two family members and all of us are feeling the effects.

There won’t be a day that goes by this season that we won’t think about them in one form or another.

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt

The University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball family is shocked and deeply saddened at the tragic loss of Oklahoma State head coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and the other victims of the plane crash.

I’ve known Kurt for many years and enjoyed watching his success all along the way. He was a great guy and a wonderful family man. He had such a great passion for teaching and coaching the game of women’s basketball. Obviously, Miranda was a highly-respected assistant coach and had a promising career ahead of her. It is just so terribly sad that we had to lose them.

Tennessee will be keeping Oklahoma State, the family and friends of Kurt and Miranda in our thoughts and prayers. Our hearts go out to them.

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