That was the first thing I thought of when I heard the news: not again.
On Thursday night, Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were among four passengers killed in a single-engine plane accident in Arkansas.
The tragic deaths of Budke and Serna brought back memories of another tragedy involving Oklahoma State's men's basketball team, that took the lives of 10 individuals about 10 years and 10 months ago when their plane crashed in Colorado.
In an interview with the Tulsa World today, former Oklahoma State point guard Doug Gottlieb summed up exactly what Cowboys everywhere are thinking today.
“It doesn’t seem fair or real or possible that, 10 months removed from the 10-year anniversary in which we celebrated the lives of the 10 that were lost that here we are again,” Gottlieb told the World.
“It doesn’t seem right that it would happen to anyone, let alone the same university. But it has and, in times of tragedy, I think Oklahomans show great respect for one another. I have spoken with people from the University of Oklahoma as well as Oklahoma State and many of my teammates and my coaches, the Sutton family.
“We are all just stunned and saddened and shocked. That was a plane crash (in 2001) that rocked the university to its core and this one will do no less.
“At a time in which the football program has never seen this type of success and is within two games of playing for a national championship, all that pales in comparison to losing other Cowboys and losing other people that are part of the family.”
Last year I was fortunate enough to be in Stillwater the night the Cowboys honored “The Ten” on the 10th anniversary of the crash before their game with Texas and wrote about “The Ten” and their impact on Oklahoma State.
The names of “The Ten:” Kendall Durfey, 38, was a radio engineer for the Cowboy Network. Bjorn Fahlstrom, 30, sat in the co-pilot's seat. Nate Fleming, 20, was a freshman guard. Will Hancock, 31, was the media relations coordinator. Daniel Lawson, 21, was a junior guard. Brian Luinstra, 29, was a trainer. Denver Mills, 55, was the pilot. Pat Noyes, 27, was the director of basketball operations. Bill Teegins, 48, was the play-by-play voice of the Cowboys. Jared Weiberg, 22, was a student manager
Never forget them. Never forget Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna either.