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2001: Eddie Sutton, Players Hold News Conference After Plane Crash Tragedy

News9.com

January 30, 2001

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma State University head basketball coach Eddie Sutton and two players addressed the media for the first time since the plane crash that killed ten members of their team and staff.

The aircraft crashed as it returned from a game in Boulder, Colorado.

Sutton said he was focused on the healing process for his team and himself.

"They certainly didn't teach this in Coaching 101, how to handle a situation like this," Sutton said.

Sutton said the university and his staff have met with the grieving team numerous time since the accident, and he believes they were doing as well as expected.

"It's been a long process, these have been the longest three days of my life I think," said OSU forward Andre Williams.

Sutton and the team spent the afternoon sharing laughs, tears and memories of the ten men before practicing for the first time since the incident.

"I think these past three days has been a long nightmare for all of us," said Jonzen. "It feels like everyday you're going to wake up and Nate (Fleming) and Dan (Lawson) are going to be there and I think the most important thing for us right now is just to get back to our normal routine."

Sutton addressed concerns that the weather may have been too unsafe to fly.

He said the pilot, Denver Mills, was one of the safest pilots he has ever flown with, and that he always felt more safe in an airplane than a car.

Sutton spoke about how much the ten men meant to him, including KWTV Sports Director Bill Teegins.

"Bill always had a big smile on his face. And he didn't mind you needling him and he would needle you. Just a marvelous man," Sutton said.

"When I called his wife the other night, I tried to express to her how much Bill Teegins meant to me."

Denver Mills, Nate Fleming, Dan Lawson, Jared Weiberg, Pat Noyes, Will Hancock, Brian Luinstra, Kendall Durfey and Bjorn Fahlstrom also perished in the accident.

"I'm still kind of in awe of it," said Williams. "I can't dwell on the past, but I often look back and think about what they would be doing right now."

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