Coaches, pilot remembered after balloon crash

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The two University of Richmond basketball coaches killed in a hot-air balloon crash were a beloved long-time assistant who was part of one of the most revered moments in the program's history, and a woman who was hardly out of college and always willing to help.

They were director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis and associate head coach Ginny Doyle.

The pilot, Daniel T. Kirk, was also killed when the balloon drifted into a power line and burst into flames Friday. He had 20 years of flying experience and was affectionately known as "Capt. Kirk."

At the university's graduation Sunday, a moment of silence was held as the tight-knit school of about 4,100 students remembered the crash victim.

Doyle's family issued the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic event and the loss of Ginny. Words cannot express how we feel or our remorse. Ginny was a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, athlete, team mate, coach, teacher, colleague, friend and story-teller. She was a formidable player that will always be remembered for her NCAA free-throw shooting record which lead to national recognition and her nickname "Deadeye Doyle". She was an accomplished coach, dedicated to women's basketball and her life with the University of Richmond Spiders. She touched the lives of many and lived life to the fullest. She will be greatly missed and holds a special place in all our hearts.

Our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Lewis Family and her fiancé on the loss of Natalie, Ginny's colleague and best friend."


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