Originally Published: Jan 27, 2011 10:31 AM CDT
More Remember the Ten Coverage
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
STILLWATER, Oklahoma--For many, it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the fateful night Oklahoma State lost ten members of its basketball family in a tragic plane crash on January 27, 2001.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been ten years; although there are some days it does,” said former OSU head basketball coach Eddie Sutton.
Coach Sutton, along with former OSU basketball players Andre Williams, Desmond Mason and Doug Gottlieb, were all a part of a special memorial ceremony honoring the ten fallen Cowboys during halftime of Wednesday’s basketball game between OSU and Texas.
For a moment, all of Gallagher-Iba Arena was silent.
In those moments, from the time of the accident until now, the entire OSU family as well as the nation has joined together in support of the families who lost their loved ones ten years ago.
“On behalf of the 2000-2001 Cowboy team for what you all did then and what you’ve done every day since: the prayers, the hugs, the pats on the back, the hand claps filling this stadium, cheering us on, cheering on every Cowboy, Cowgirl. On behalf of that team I would like to say thank you,” said Andre Williams.
Eight of the ten families were present for Wednesday’s memorial ceremony and celebration.
“This is the place I fell in love with??that those ten men fell in love with,” said Doug Gottlieb. “We will never forget and we’ve got to get together more often. How about l every home game we show up like this? ”
As Sutton stepped forward to address the crowd, the arena stood in a sounding ovation cheering “Eddie, Eddie.”
Coach Sutton began by saying “It really changed my live, those ten guys were special there wasn’t a bad guy in that whole lot.”
“They really impacted us as a team, as you can see they impacted this University, and they will always be remembered, these were ten great lives,” said Desmond Mason.
“When I was still coaching, every day I would make a walk down to that memorial area. I would go there and sometimes I would say a little prayer but I went there to look at those guys because I wanted to remember some of the great times we had, the fun times,” said Sutton.
Ten years ago Oklahoma State University promised to always remember. Wednesday, OSU continued that promise by honoring the ten men by retiring the number 10.
Sutton wrapped up his tribute to the fallen with a phrase by one of the ten, Bill Hancock:
“Life is so precious so cherish every moment of every relationship. Hug the ones that are dear to you.”
“I think that’s what all of us must do, always remember,” said Sutton. “When God calls us home, we may have a few special friends, but your family is the one that really counts, and we have become a whole family because of this accident.”
On January 27, 2001 at 6:37 p.m. CST, the OSU basketball team was returning from a game in Boulder Colorado when one plane crashed. The twin-engine Beech King Air 200 went down about 30 miles east of Denver during a light snow. It was one of three small aircraft carrying members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team and staff.
The men lost in the crash were Denver Mills, Nate Fleming, Dan Lawson, Jared Weiberg, Pat Noyes, Bill Teegins, Will Hancock, Brian Luinstra, Kendall Durfey and Bjorn Fahlstrom.
We will never forget the lives of those lost on that snowy night in Colorado.