Leonard Skinner, Lynyrd Skynyrd inspiration, dies at 77

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --Leonard Skinner, the no-nonsense basketball coach and gym teacher whose name is forever linked with Jacksonville's legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in his sleep early Monday morning. He was 77.

Leonard Skinner (second from left) of Jacksonville, FL, the namesake for the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, pictured in a 1960s era photo with Lee High School coaches.  Photo courtesy of the Skinner Family
Photo courtesy of the Skinner Family
Leonard Skinner (second from left) of Jacksonville, FL, the namesake for the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, pictured in a 1960s era photo with Lee High School coaches.

His son, also named Leonard Skinner, said his father had a bowl of ice cream just past midnight - he loved ice cream - and then was found dead around 2:30 a.m. He had been a resident of St. Catherine Laboure Manor, a nursing home in Riverside, for about a year, his son said. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Skinner never asked to become part of rock 'n roll lore. He was just a by-the-book gym teacher at Robert E. Lee High School who, in the late 1960s, sent some students to the principal's office because their hair was too long, touching their collars in the back.

Those students turned out to be members of a rock band that named themselves Lynyrd Skynyrd in a smart-aleck tribute to the coach.

Read more at jacksonville.com or http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-09-20/story/leonard-skinner-lynyrd-skynyrd-namesake-dies-77-0

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grinder48
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grinder48 09/20/10 - 04:29 pm
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RIP
Unpublished

RIP

Cadence
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Cadence 09/20/10 - 05:18 pm
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I never knew the origin of

I never knew the origin of that name. May he rest in peace.

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