LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It was all hands on deck operation at Barnes & Noble at the South Plains Mall for former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach's book signing. Employees say it was the biggest book signing they have ever had, and they are calling it the "blockbuster" of book signings.
Leach's autobiography, "Swing Your Sword," came out last week. The store says close to 1,000 people waited in line to get a glimpse of Leach.
Fans couldn't be happier to see the man sparked with controversy. Shawn Pede was the first person in line. He waited nearly eight hours to shake the hand of his favorite coach.
"I didn't find out until 9 this morning, so I was up here at 10:30," Pede said.
Pede was lucky to be at the head of the queue, but others had to wait outside in the line that extended past JC Penny. To pass the time, some people got creative using Leach's favorite character, the pirate.
"We didn't see anyone else in pirate gear, so we went to Party City and got some masks. He saw us and said thanks for coming and he was talking to us," said Rebecca Kimbler.
Leach also enjoyed seeing a former player who came to show his support.
"You have trials and tribulations, but he taught how to recover and be a team before he left," Brian Duncan said.
Duncan is a former Texas Tech linebacker. He said he can't wait to open Leach's book.
"I am interested in reading everything. Hopefully he has something just about me," said Duncan.
Leach did have something to say to a special fan. He thanked the Facebook group Team Leach and private donors for creating a $10,000 scholarship for a person of his choice, which was Keith Mauldin who wants to be a coach just like Leach.
"It was really a blessing to have this and I am really thankful to have Team Leach and Coach Leach do this to help me," said Mauldin.
Only three copies of Leach's book were available for sale per customer. Managers say they wanted to have enough to go around to customers who are purchasing books at the time of the signing. However, before the signing started they were completely sold out.
Sandi Richardson purchased two books Tuesday afternoon.
"I think it's a history in Lubbock that we all should be a part of. So, I hope we will see him somewhere else in football," Richardson said.
"There's going to be a large crowd tonight, so I just thought I would get a jump start," customer Tim Thompson said. "I bought three books, I wanted to buy eight but they said three was the limit."
For some customers, just purchasing the book was enough.
"I figure it's going to be pretty crazy, so I ordered them ahead of time, and I got three of them here. One for me and one for my mom for her birthday," customer Brock Heintzelman said.
Barnes and Noble staff says they hope to get more books in next week.