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Life & Culture

Gene “Ubie” Ubriaco – A Hockey Life On Jazz

Adrian V 12 July 2023 1583 2 5

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The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame inducts Gene Ubriaco on Dec. 10, 2021.

From his James Street westend beginnings to his long-time home outside Chicago, the Gene Ubriaco story always includes hockey, lotsa hockey. But there is so much, much more with “Ubie.” We hear about friendship to food to family, and the story – as only Ubie can tell a story – is set to the music that Gene loves. We get a master class from a consummate professional.

Born Eugene Stephen Ubriaco in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Gene has been involved in professional hockey since the 50s. Ubie reached the NHL as a player, and then again as a coach. He broke into the NHL in its ’67-’68 expansion season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and then some 20 years later became their head coach in 1988. Along the way Ubie has had several stops, mostly in cities around the USA, but also including the head coach position of Italy’s 1992 Olympic program, while also working everything from marketing jobs to director of hockey operations, exhibiting a distinct flair for promoting his organizations. Since 1994, Ubie has worked in several front office capacities for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

Gene is the published artist of a book of pencil colour drawings, that depict his childhood days growing up in the Soo’s fabled westend.

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