Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lynyrd Skynyrd was a PE Teacher!

Rest in Peace Leonard Skinner!

Tongue-in-cheek inspiration to Lynyrd Skynyrd dies at 77
Matt Soergel

Leonard Skinner, the no-nonsense, flat-topped basketball coach and gym teacher whose name is forever linked with legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in his sleep early Monday morning. He was 77.

Mr. Skinner never asked to become part of rock ’n’ roll lore. He didn’t even like rock ’n’ roll. He was just a by-the-book gym teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, his alma mater, who, in the late 1960s, sent some students to the principal’s office because their hair was too long.

Gene Odom, who worked security for the band and survived the crash of its plane in 1977, said one of the longhairs was Gary Rossington. Rossington was guitarist in a rock band that would later name itself Lynyrd Skynyrd in a smart-aleck tribute to the gym teacher.

During an interview in January 2009, Mr. Skinner said he was just following the rules about hair length. It always bothered him that the legend grew to say he was particularly tough on them or that he’d kicked them out of school.

“It was against the school rules. I don’t particularly like long hair on men, but again, it wasn’t my rule,” he said.

Read full article from the Florida Times Union at at

Photo courtesy of Times-Union

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