Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, who died in a 2011 plane crash, has been posthumously elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Joining Budke in the class are four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie, former Houston Comets star Janeth Arcain, University of Georgia standout Janet Harris, former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors and longtime Oregon high school coach Brad Smith. The group will be inducted next June at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Immaculata teams that won championships from 1972-74 will receive the Hall’s trailblazer award.
Budke was a successful coach at Louisiana Tech before arriving at Oklahoma State in 2005. He was 80-16 while in charge of the Lady Techsters, leading them to three consecutive NCAA tournaments. In his five years at Oklahoma State, Budke appeared in three NCAA tournaments, including a trip to the regional semifinals in 2008. He also won four national championships at Trinity Valley Community College
Budke died in a plane crash on Nov. 17, 2011, along with assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others, while on a recruiting trip.
Goestenkors guided Duke and Texas to the NCAA Tournament 18 straight years, including four trips to the Final Four and two national championship game appearances. She was The Associated Press coach of the year in 2007 and is ninth among all-time Division I coaches in winning percentage. Goestenkors is now an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Leslie also won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and was the league’s MVP three times. She helped the U.S. win gold medals at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.