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12/26/1937 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Forward, Gene Ubriaco, was a veteran of nine minor league seasons when expansion in 1967 opened up a job for him in the National Hockey League. It was the new franchise in Pittsburgh that gave Ubriaco his opportunity to strut his stuff at the big league level when they made him a regular during the 1967-68 season.
In 65 games, the versatile forward who played both left wing and center, fired home 18 goals, good for third on the team and 33 points. Despite his success with the Penguins, 49 games into his second year with the club, he was on the move, traded to the Oakland Seals in a six-player trade.
Ubriaco's stay in Oakland was short and uneventful. In 42 games over a season and a half, Ubriaco scored just 5 goals and 13 points. Oakland sent the veteran down to the minors in 1969-70, but when he was acquired by the Chicago Black Hawks, he returned to the big leagues.
Ubriaco played the last 21 games of that season and his career with Chicago, but was ineffective, notching just 1 goal and an assist in that time. The last games of his career came that spring when he suited up for four playoff games with the Hawks.
After a few seasons away, Ubriaco returned to hockey and embarked on the second stage of his career this time as a coach. In 1972-73, he took the reigns of the Lake Superior State University hockey program and four years later, he was coaching in the International League. As the years passed, Ubriaco enjoyed great success wherever he went. He won "Coach of the Year" honours in four different leagues (USHL, EHL, CHL, AHL) and in 1988, he was hired by the organization that gave him his start as a player, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ubriaco steered the Penguins into the playoffs for the first time in seven years. When he stumbled out of the gate in year two in Pittsburgh, he was fired. Ubriaco went on to coach the Italian Olympic team in the 1992 Albertville Olympic Games.
Ubriaco became the Chicago Wolves (IHL) first-ever head coach in their inaugural season, 1994-95. Two years later, he accepted the job of Director of Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager with the Wolves, which he still holds. The Chicago Wolves joined the AHL in 2001.
Traded to Hershey (AHL) by Toronto, September 1963. Traded to Pittsburgh by Hershey (AHL), October 1967. Traded to Oakland by Pittsburgh, January 30th, 1969. Traded to Chicago by Oakland for Howie Menard, December 15, 1969.
Awards and Trophies
Prince of Wales Trophy 1969-70
AHL Second All-Star Team 1966
Coach of the Year (Eastern Hockey League) 1980
Coach of the Year (Central Hockey League) 1983
Coach of the Year (American Hockey League) 1984
Coach of the Year (United States Hockey League) 1974