It was named after Leonard Skinner, the band’s high school P.E. teacher who was very strict about the length of the boys’ hair.
Through the 1960’s, the band (comprised of Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Larry Junstrom) went through many names, including The Noble Five, The One Percent, and My Backyard. In 1969, they became Leonard Skinnerd (soon to be Lynyrd Skynyrd) to mock Skinner, who used to give the boys trouble for their long hair.
After the band’s success, they seemed to make amends with Skinner. He introduced the band at a concert years later.
The New York Times called Leonard Skinner “arguably the most influential high school gym teacher in Ameircan pop culture”.
Have a listen to one of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s most popular songs: Sweet Home Alabama.