Leonard Skinner Passes Away

Leonard Skinner, the no-nonsense, flat-topped 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.

"Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him. Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

~ Gary Rossington

Posted by Lynyrd Skynyrd in Site News September 21, 2010 1:07:00 AM UTC |

Leave a comment (20 Responses)


bipblake // November 10, 2013 6:54:53 PM UTC

@StreetSurvivor777: Artimus is still alive.


ArtimusFan // February 16, 2012 10:30:07 PM UTC

I just read a Bob Burns interview who said the name Lynyrd Skynyrd came from a different source than Coach Skinner. Here is part of the interview for you to read it in Bob Burns own words:

E - Now why did you switch the name to Lynyrd Skynyrd. I have read that it was
about the high school coach.

BB - Well, that's kind of a half truth. How old are you?

E - I'm 44 now.

BB - You may or may not remember but there was a song that came out.

MB – Well, wait a minute. Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt but there was
one more name change before Lynyrd Skynyrd. They changed their name to One

E - One percent, so that actually happened.

BB – We were the One Percent longer than we were Lynyrd Skynyrd.

E - Really?

BB - For back then, yeah we were the One Percent for like 5 or 6 years.

E - It was printed in Wikipedia

MB – Well that's all wrong.

E – But it was recorded there.

BB – The song was called Camp Granada, it goes "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda, You
Remember Leonard Skinner he had ptomaine poisoning after dinner." That's where
the name came from right there. I heard it and I thought it was the funniest
damn name I had ever heard in my entire life. I thought what if your name was
fricken Leonard Skinner. Then it became a household word, that fan would just
fall and there was no earthly reason why that fan would fall, well that was
Leonard. Or somebody was on the phone at four-O-clock in the morning but nobody
was saying anything, that was Leonard. A noise, all of a sudden this box would
move and you and I know there's no way this box could move but it did, that was
Leonard. So we were the One Percent and that same year they got a gym coach
named Leonard Skinner. We were thinking of names to name the band and I started
laughing my ass off and I said "Leonard Skinner." They went "Where?" And I said
"No, the name of the band, Leonard Skinner." And they went "For a name?" I
went "Yeah", and they busted out laughing. They laughed and Laughed and Ronnie
said "That's what we'll do and we'll tell them that we named it after the damn

E - So it actually came from that song. That's a heck of a story.

BB - Yes it did and if you don't believe me look the song up on the internet
"Camp Granada" the name Leonard Skinner is in there.

Read the entire interview here:


Kaylarenae // March 10, 2011 12:57:11 AM UTC

It's insane that the person who inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd to choose their band name has passed away. However he is now with all of the orginals except Garry Rossington. Lets hope we dont lose Garry any time soon! R.I.P. Coach Skinner and the original Skynyrd members who have passed on!


StreetSurvivor777 // February 01, 2011 9:16:29 PM UTC

I remember the first time I even saw the name Lynyrd Skynyrd, I really like the letter "Y" so the bands name got me interested. From the first notes of "FB"
I was hooked and never looked back, must have been a trip to be forever linked with LS. Now he can hang with Ronnie, Steve, Billy, Cassie, Artimus, Allen, Leon and the rest including Duane, Barry, SRV, Jimi and the rest. God Bless you Mr. Skinner...


Margaret Tudor // November 04, 2010 3:41:03 PM UTC

I wish to add my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
May you rest in the Peace of God's Love Mr. Skinner.


fb_Johnny Cole // October 29, 2010 1:13:17 PM UTC

RIP Mr,Skinner


jakke // October 11, 2010 12:56:44 PM UTC

rest in peace, Leonard.

greetings from Belgium


I_want_lynyrd_Skynyrd_live _in_Greece // October 02, 2010 10:10:10 AM UTC



Eric_Wayne // September 24, 2010 4:38:26 PM UTC

Thank you for being hard on Gary and inspiring the name of the best Rock N Roll band of all time. It's strange you passed away at 77 and the plane crash was in 1977... R.I.P. Mr. Leonard Skinner.


Alixandra Hice // September 24, 2010 2:04:56 PM UTC

My husband Larry graduated from Lee High School in 1971 and played on Coach Skinner's basket ball team his Sophomore year. What a legacy Coach Skinner leaves. I posted a tribute to him on my blog today as he is laid to rest.

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