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Petersen named women's basketball coach

Women's basketball | Aug. 15, 2013

PELLA —Assistant Chelsea Petersen has been named interim women’s basketball coach at Central College following the resignation of head coach Mike Jacobsma.

Jacobsma accepted the athletics director position at Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette, Colo. He led Central’s women’s basketball program for two seasons after previously serving as assistant coach at the University of Evansville (Ind.). He compiled a 17-33 record, including a 10-15 mark this past year, the program’s most victories since 2003-04.

Petersen joined the Dutch staff a year ago. 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.

“We’re very excited to have Chelsea in this position and 100 percent confident in her ability,” said athletics director Eric Van Kley. “Her experience at another Division III institution, combined with her work here with Mike Jacobsma make her very well prepared.

“She’s developed positive relationships with our players and our recruits. We see Chelsea continuing to build on the momentum we’re developing and taking this program to new heights.”

Van Kley said Jacobsma accomplished much in his short tenure.

“I want to thank Mike for his efforts the past two years,” Van Kley said. “He’s worked tirelessly to move our program in a positive direction.”

Jacobsma expressed gratitude to the Central administration.

“The program has taken steps in the right direction and much of the credit belongs to our players, who have shown tremendous commitment and dedication,” he said. “They have impacted my life greatly. I feel honored to have represented an elite institution like Central College. I will always be a fan and supporter of the Dutch.”

Petersen said she’ll continue pushing the accelerator on the Dutch program’s turnaround.

“This is a responsibility I have prepared for throughout my career and one I look forward to with great enthusiasm and optimism,” she said. “Mike Jacobsma has begun to develop a great foundation for success with our women’s basketball team.

“We have an outstanding team returning from last year and we have a tremendous recruiting class joining us this fall. I am extremely confident that through hard work, dedication and discipline we can continue to develop our women’s program into one of the leading programs in our conference. We have many hours of hard work ahead. We have many challenges that we will face in the next season.

“Given the great foundation Mike has built and the high caliber of the women’s student-athletes in our program, I know the Central College women’s basketball team has an extremely bright future.

“I especially want to express my gratitude to Mike for bringing me to Central and for helping me develop in my career. I also want to thank Eric Van Kley for having confidence to entrust me with this responsibility. I am committed to making the basketball experience a cornerstone in the players’ lifelong development, and I look forward to recording many victories on the court.”

Jacobsma said Petersen is the right choice for Central.

“Chelsea is a rising star in the coaching profession and will continue to build a championship program,” he said. “I am confident in her abilities to lead the team and look forward to cheering the Dutch on from Colorado!”

Central College