Florida Tech Mourns the Passing of Former Basketball Coach Al Skellet

By  //  January 25, 2019

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Skellet dies at 83

Florida Tech Athletics mourns the passing of former basketball coach Al Skellet, who passed away January 16, 2019. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech Athletics mourns the passing of former basketball coach Al Skellet, who passed away January 16, 2019.

Florida Tech Athletic Director Bill Jurgens was saddened to hear the news about his old friend and colleague.

“I’ll miss seeing Al at our basketball games,” said Jurgens.

“He was an important part of our athletics program as an assistant coach for the basketball team and as the head coach for the women’s golf program. Al had great coaching skills, especially how he cared for and related to the student-athletes, and he continuously encouraged his student-athletes to be the best they can be.”

Skellet was an assistant coach for the Florida Tech men’s basketball team for eight seasons, working under Roger Dufour during the 1983-84 season and for Tom Folliard, Sr. from 1984-91. During his time on the staff, the Panthers improved every year and posted consecutive 20-plus win seasons in 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Skellet helped guide Florida Tech to one of the best seasons in program history in 1989-90. That year, the Panthers won their first-ever Sunshine State Conference Regular Season Championship. Florida Tech finished with a 26-4 record that year, including an 11-1 mark in the conference. The team advanced to the second round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament, garnering the school’s very first NCAA tournament win.

Leaving the hardwood for the links, Skellet served as the first head coach of the women’s golf team for its inaugural season in 2004. With him at the helm, the program picked up its first-ever win that season.

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On Feb. 20, 2015, on the 25th anniversary of the Panthers’ historic run in 1989-90, Skellet and the rest of the team were inducted into Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame and honored as one of the greatest teams in Florida Tech Athletics history.

Allan leaves behind his daughter, Pride Woods; granddaughter, Stephanie Gady (Andrew Aycock); brother, Robert Skellett (Donna) and sister, Patricia Young (Bill).

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. at Florida Tech’s All Faith Center located at 3216 Engineering Dr., Melbourne, Fla., 32901.

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