Women's basketball

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

Follow women's basketball on...


Coaching staff

Chelsea PetersenChelsea Petersen
Head coach

Chelsea Petersen was named head women's basketball coach in 2014 after spending a season as the interim coach. She joined the Central staff as an assistant coach in 2012.

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.

Petersen also serves as online content specialist in the communications office.

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

Aaron NesterChelsea Petersen
Assistant coach

Aaron Nester was named assistant women's basketball coach in 2014 after spending three years as head coach at Oglethorpe University (Ga.). He will serve as the top varsity assistant to coach Chelsea Petersen.

Nester served as Oglethorpe’s head women’s coach the past three seasons after serving as an assistant coach at Wartburg College from 2006-11. From 2002-06, Nester was an assistant at his alma mater, Rockford College (Ill.), where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Since 2011, Nester has served as the South Region chair on the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship Committee.

An Indianapolis, Ind. Native, Nester is experienced in helping rebuild Division III women’s basketball programs. During his tenure at Rockford, the women’s squad won 76 games in four seasons, won three conference titles and participated in three NCAA Division III tournaments.  During his five seasons at Wartburg, the Knights improved from 7-18 in 2005-06 to 21-5 in 2010-11.

Phone: (641) 628-5624
Email: nestera@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.


Central College