It was revealed that the Pennsylvania native and coal miner's son had several names, including his birth name, Gerald Allen Boyd. He's been called Mr. Boyd, coach, sir, teacher, principal and many unmentionables.
Greg Caudill, a former student of Boyd's, remembers him as an educator and found it hard to call him anything other than Mr. Boyd. He also recalled working with Boyd at the Danville Country Club swimming pool and climbing over the fence one night to get in the pool.
Boyd yelled, 'What's going on here?" After a pause, Boyd said, "The next time you want to go for a midnight swim, come and get the key."
Joey Kirk, who also worked with Boyd at the pool, told about the time he was trying to cut a piece of metal with a dull saw to make a repair at the pool. As he stood looking at the metal, Boyd yelled, "Looking at it won't cut it, chief."
Kirk also praised Boyd for his work in Danville and said if the town is lucky to have another person like Boyd move here, it will be OK.
John Albright, former student and band festival volunteer with Boyd, remembers when Coach Boyd made the team run up the hill to a hedge when practicing football. "I'd usually get a piece of the hedge to prove I made it up the hill," said Albright.
Albright called Boyd "a great man."
Disguising a love of tobacco
The first time Bobby Trumbo noticed Boyd and his chew of tobacco was when he'd eat mints. "Jerry was always eating mints to hide the tobacco smell during school hours," Trumbo explained.
He told an amusing story about taking Boyd to a funeral at an African-American church.
The service was long and I looked over at Boyd and he was turning red," Trumbo said with a laugh. "Afterwards, he told me, 'I'm never going to another funeral with you. It's like working all day.'"
Trumbo said Boyd is a friend who has been there when he needed him. "I love him very much and his wife, too. Working with him has been a blast."
Local businesswoman Mary Stith Hamlin would rather disagree with the five city commissioners than Boyd. She said the Danville High School students were so afraid of him, no one wanted his attention, only his respect.
She called him a "faker" and "slacker" for trying to fool the students by acting tough and mean.
He didn't have time to grade papers, so he got someone else to do it.
"I learned how to terrorize from Mr. Boyd," she said.
She poked fun at his hair or the lack of it and presented him with two wigs - a red one with pig tails and the other with black curls.
Leon Gooch said Boyd never showed any difference toward black and white people.
Gooch and Boyd were painting a swimming pool with brushes several years ago, but the fumes got too strong for Boyd. "Mr. Boyd said, 'I'm tough, I can take it.' About halfway around the pool, Boyd said he had to get through, but he started wobbling and laid down a little while. Then he said to me, 'You're beginning to look purple.' I said, 'No, I'm black."'
Randy May has corduroy prints on his behind to prove that Boyd was a tough teacher and coach. "I've waited 40 years to roast Boyd. He got even with Boyd for leaving marks on his rear during a paddling session at school.
A man to look up to
He referred to Boyd as "the enforcer. "He wanted us to think he was God. He about succeeded."
May talked about a football practice when the dark clouds started rolling in. "I prayed for a thunderburst. Jerry said, 'What are you looking at? I turn it on and I turn it off.' You don't forget things like this," said May.
"All joking aside, if it weren't for this man, seriously, I may have taken a different path than I took," said May, an attorney in Hazard.
Boyd's former roommate at Eastern Kentucky University, Jack Rodgers, called him a bad name after hearing the others speak. He also called Boyd a carpetbagger from Pennsylvania who talked like a soprano.
Rodgers told stories about the two making homebrew while in college and sneaking their first car under the stadium to make repairs, but one of their biggest pranks was at a pep rally.