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Miranda Serna: Oklahoma State assistant coach remembered as tireless worker, recruiter and friend

OSU PLANE CRASH — Assistant coach Miranda Serna helped Kurt Budke build the program at Oklahoma State through tireless work and relationships. Serna, Budke and two other died in a plane crash Thursday.
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, Modified: November 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm •  Published: November 18, 2011

Karri Sears called her good friend Miranda Serna at 7:45 Thursday evening.

Sears, the Del City girls basketball coach, was on her way back from a scrimmage at Edmond Santa Fe.

“I was just on the road, and she crossed my mind,” Sears said.

“The phone just kept ringing. It didn't go to voicemail or anything.

“I know that's a strange thing, but something put her on my mind.”

Serna, 36, OSU women's basketball's assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, along with Cowgirls head coach Kurt Budke and two others, died Thursday in a plane crash in central Arkansas. Budke and Serna were on a recruiting trip.

Sears and Serna became close when OSU began recruiting Toni Young, now a junior forward for the Cowgirls.

“From the first time I met her, we just clicked,” Sears said. “If I had a problem, anything with our program, I went to her with advice.”

Young, a preseason All-Big 12 pick, was suspended for the first three games of this season for violating team rules.

“Toni has had her share of problems,” Sears said. “But (Serna) always called me and got me involved.

“Toni just looked up to her. (Serna) treated her just like a daughter.”

Serna was a standout at Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, N.M., where she led the Eagles to a 46-0 record and two straight state titles.

After high school, she played one season at Central Arizona College before transferring to Trinity Valley Community College, where, under Budke, she helped lead the team to the NJCAA national championship in 1996.

She finished her playing career at Houston and, after that, returned to Trinity Valley as an assistant under Budke.

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