Officer Jack Trabucco and Kelsey Trabucco '16 Share Love of Sports and Wellesley

June 13, 2014
Kelsey and Jack Trabucco sharing a laugh

In May 2014, Officer Jack Trabucco was inducted into the Natick High Sports Hall of Fame, honored for his outstanding achievement as a high school athlete in Natick, Mass. Trabucco has served on the Wellesley campus police force for 28 years.

Natick is adjacent to the town of Wellesley, and Trabucco had served on the Natick police force for four years. “Coming to Wellesley was the best decision I ever made,” he says. His daughter, Kelsey Trabucco ’16, might be able to say the same thing. A high school softball standout herself, Kelsey imagined she would continue to play in college. Until she got the crew bug. She is part of the Wellesley rowing team that finished fourth in the team points trophy at NCAA Nationals in May.

Jack Trabucco graduated from Natick High School in 1973, where he was all-scholastic in football (wide receiver) and baseball (center fielder), and made it a three-sport career with basketball (power forward). Wicked Local Natick reported that, among other things, he caught 15 touchdown passes in 18 games during his junior and senior seasons, and scored the spectacular winning touchdown in the 1972 Thanksgiving game. He went on to play four years of baseball at Northeastern University.

Now he sticks to the lifelong sports of golf and bowling, and a very active profession.

“I’ve reaped the benefits of sports ever since those early years,” he says. “Everything in my life has derived from that. It’s really helped my career,” he adds, noting that being a cop is a lot like doing a team sport. On a day like Commencement, for example, when 6,000 people are on campus, the whole force has to coordinate to take care of the routine and the unexpected calls for help and direction. And in any situation you have to be comfortable relying on and supporting your colleagues when an assist is needed.

Trabucco praises Chief of Police Lisa Barbin for creating a culture on the force that promotes that kind of approach, with democratic decision making at its heart and dedicated time for training.

He has, he says, the same enthusiasm about Wellesley that he had when he came to the force in 1986. That's evident in the way he talks and his friendly greetings to everyone on campus. “It’s a small community, like a small town. The staff is great, the students make it worthwhile, the faculty is fantastic. Take Kelsey’s crew coach, Tessa Spillane. She runs a nationally ranked program and is so approachable.”

Kelsey, a psychology major, chimes in to share her dad's enthusiasm and agree on how strong a tie is created between teammates who work hard at a sport. “It creates a common bond that lasts,” the elder Trabucco says as his daughter nods. “The guys I played sports with are the ones I still really keep in touch with.”

Kelsey has that to look forward to. As a first year at Wellesley she was selected for NEWMAC All-Novice honors in rowing, and has two more years to build those bonds with others pulling on oars in all weather, toiling on ergs, clanging in the weight room, and wondering how much harder they can push. In the meantime, she says, “I am so humbled and honored by my father's athletic achievement. He instilled an incredible work ethic in me and my brother, which stemmed from his athletic excellence. I feel blessed being able to not only share my undergraduate experience with my best friend, but to celebrate his historic honor as well.”