California State University, Long Beach
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In Memoriam: December 2011

Published: December 15, 2011

Former CSULB women’s basketball assistant coach Miranda Serna was killed along with Oklahoma State head coach Kurt Budke and two others, on Nov. 17 in a plane crash in Perry County, Ark. She was 36 years old.

Serna, who was entering her seventh year as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, was on a recruiting trip with Budke to Arkansas. The other two individuals, including the pilot, were not affiliated with the university.

Serna spent two seasons as an assistant with the 49ers under former head coach Dallas Bolla. In her first year as a member of the staff in 1999-2000, the squad advanced to the third round of the WNIT, made an appearance in the Big West Tournament finals and notched the 15th 20-plus win season in school history. In 2000-01, CSULB was back in the conference finals and finished the campaign with a 17-13 overall record.

Serna also spent time as an assistant at Chicago State, Fresno State and Lousiana Tech. Prior to her stint at CSULB, she served as an assistant at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. That team finished the 1998-99 season with an unblemished 36-0 record and won the NJCAA National Championship.

As a player, Serna was named the league freshman of the year and earned honorable mention Kodak All-America honors while competing for Central Arizona College during the 1993-94 season. After transferring to Trinity Valley Community College, she helped lead the Lady Cardinals to a 32-4 record and the NJCAA national title in 1996. Serna then completed her collegiate career at Houston where she competed for the Cougars during the 1996-97 season and earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Texas A&M-Commerce in 1998. As a prep standout at Eldorado (N.M.) High School, Serna led squad to a 46-0 record and two consecutive state championships.