ISU Players, Coaches Mourn 7 Victims Of Plane Crash

April 08, 2015
 
In this Nov. 17, 2013 file photo, Illinois State associate head basketball coach Torrey Ward, right, and head coach Dan Muller smile after a game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.

In this Nov. 17, 2013 file photo, Illinois State associate head basketball coach Torrey Ward, right, and head coach Dan Muller smile after a game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.

(AP Photo/Matt Marton, File)

Wednesday's news conference at Illinois State University to discuss the seven school officials and fans who died in a plane crash while returning from the NCAA Tournament became a moving memorial.

Illinois State basketball player John Jones talked about associate head coach Torrey Ward's role as a take-charge father figure for a team that had a strong year.
 
Illinois State coach Dan Muller choked up as he tried to talk about 36-year-old Ward and Aaron Leetch, the athletic department's 37-year-old deputy director for external relations.
 
Muller said he'd been invited Monday on the trip to Indianapolis but couldn't go because of work.
 
The plane that carried Ward, Leetch and five other Bloomington-area men crashed just outside town early Tuesday morning in thick fog. The crash is under investigation.

It could take the National Transportation Safety Board a year to 18 months to finish their investigation.

Story source: AP