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Plane crash causes Oklahoma St. to relive ‘worst nightmare’

Nov 18, 2011, 5:27 PM EDT

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Oklahoma State’s women’s basketball program is shell-shocked. The worst part? The men’s team has been there before.

Women’s coach Kurt Budke and his assistant, Miranda Serna, died after a single-engine plane taking them on a recruiting trip crashed in Arkansas. The pilot and his wife also were killed.

From the AP:

“This is our worst nightmare. The entire OSU family is very close, very close indeed,” OSU President Burns Hargis said at a news conference. “To lose anyone, especially these two individuals who are incredible life forces in our family, it is worse beyond words.”

The crash is the second major tragedy for the sports program in about a decade. In January 2001, 10 men affiliated with the university’s men’s basketball team died in a Colorado plane crash.

“When something like this happens and, God forbid it happened again, we have to pull together as a family. We’ve got to try to do that,” Hargis said, as he broke down in tears.

After the 2001 crash, the university required that planes used by the school’s sports team undergo safety checks before travel. Hargis said coaches were not bound by the same rules and that the school left such decisions to their discretion.

There’s more on the story here. It’s a sad, sad day in Stillwater.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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