Women's basketball

  • 1993 NCAA Div. III champions
  • Five NCAA playoff berths
  • Six Iowa Conference championships

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Coaching staff

Chelsea PetersenChelsea Petersen
Head coach

Chelsea Petersen is engineering a resurgence in the Central women's basketball program.

Petersen has served as head women's basketball coach since 2013. She joined the Central staff as an assistant coach in 2012.

In 2013-14, she piloted the Dutch to their highest win total in a decade. Then, despite an injury barrage that resulted in eight players with starting experience missing significant time and several season-ending injuries, a freshman-dominated roster posted another double-digit wins season, fueling optimism for 2015-16.

Petersen was selected to study at the 2015 NCAA Women Coaches Academy in Denver, Colo. She was among 40 women from all NCAA divisions accepted into the academy. The five-day educational training offers program management strategies with a focus on philosophy development and gaining skills in planning, communication, legal issues, ethics, hiring, staff supervision, conflict resolution, learning styles and achieving success.

A Wyoming, Iowa native and graduate of Midland Community High School, Petersen was an assistant coach at Anderson University (Ind.) from 2009-12 while she earned a master’s degree in business administration. She is a 2008 Upper Iowa University graduate and carried a 4.0 grade point average throughout her undergraduate and graduate career.

At Upper Iowa, Petersen was a team captain and four-year letterwinner. At the time of her graduation she ranked second in school history in season defensive rebounds (163), fourth in career rebounds (689) and sixth in season free throw percentage (80.3). She received Academic All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honors. At Midland High School Petersen still holds seven records. She was the team and conference MVP while receiving all-state distinction as well.

She spent a season as assistant girls’ basketball coach at University High School in Carmel, Ind. in 2008-09 while working as an account executive for Propeller Marketing LLC in Fishers, Ind.

Phone: 641-628-7652
Email: petersenc@central.edu

Austin HellbuschChelsea Petersen
Assistant coach

Austin Hellbusch joined the Central staff in 2014 as an assistant coach after a six-year high school coaching career.

He graduated from Northwestern College in 2000.  Hellbusch served as the varsity girls’ coach at Des Moines Christian High School from 2001-03 before holding the boys’ head coaching position at Belmond-Klemme in 2003-04 and at Dakota Valley from 2004-07. He also served as an instructor at the Northwestern College Basketball Camp for nine years and the Jess Settles The Next Level basketball camp for five years.


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