Mourners honor coaches killed in crash

STILLWATER, Okla. — Alumni, students and athletes filed through Oklahoma State's arena Saturday to honor the women's basketball coaches killed Thursday in a plane crash, recalling how coach Kurt Budke served as a father figure to many of his players and assistant coach Miranda Serna's infectious smile.

Hundreds signed two large banners laid out in Gallagher-Iba Arena, while about two dozen bouquets adorned a makeshift memorial inside. Although the school is holding a public memorial for Budke and Serna on Monday, many people said they wanted to come earlier.

"They were really a positive influence on campus," OSU junior and wrestler Jordan Oliver said. "They were two people who will be dearly loved and missed at this university."

Others described Budke as a committed family man who would strike up conversations with students, and they talked about how Serna honored all the mothers in the athletic department with a hand-delivered rose each Mother's Day.

The crash also killed former Oklahoma state Sen. Olin Branstetter, 82, who was flying the plane, and his wife, Paula.

Investigators ruled out weather as a factor. National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jason Aguilar said skies were clear and winds calm.

NO. 10 MARYLAND 70, UMBC 59: Tianna Hawkins had 19 points and 18 rebounds, and Lynetta Kizer scored 12 in her return from a suspension for the visiting Terrapins (4-0).

NO. 13 OKLAHOMA 58, NEW MEXICO 56: Whitney Hand put back her miss with 18.6 seconds left to help the visiting Sooners (2-0) rally.

NO. 14 GEORGETOWN 66, HOUSTON 36: Tia Magee had 15 points and nine rebounds, and the host Hoyas (2-2) rebounded from consecutive road losses.

NO. 15 RUTGERS 61, LA SALLE 48: Khadijah Rushdan had 20 points for the visiting Scarlet Knights (3-0), who overcame 35 percent shooting.

NO. 17 KENTUCKY 88, SO. MISS 71: A'dia Mathies scored 20, and the host Wildcats (4-0) put the game out of reach with a late 15-2 run.

NO. 18 DEPAUL 99, PORTLAND 64: Anna Martin had 29 points as the Blue Demons (3-1) hit 15 3-pointers at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu.

TULANE 65, NO. 20 LSU 62, OT: Danielle Blagg's three-point play with 1.6 seconds left lifted the host Green Wave to an upset of the Tigers (2-1).

Mourners honor coaches killed in crash 11/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 19, 2011 10:32pm]

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