Over the next few days and weeks, Cowbell Corner is hoping to share stories from some of those associated with Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach. Here, Mississippi State running backs coach Eric Mele tells of how an out-of-the-blue letter he sent has resulted in him working for Leach for years:

"I got to Washington State in 2012. Coach Leach was out of coaching that (prior) offseason. I found his P.O. Box address in Key West and I wrote him a letter, really kind of off the cuff and unprofessional like, ‘Hey, you know, I know you’re not coaching anymore and that’s B.S., but when you get back, I’d love to work for you’, and this and that. So he invites me down to Key West and I was at Wingate University in North Carolina at the time. So he says, ‘Yeah, if you’re in Florida, let me know.’ Two weeks later, I was like, ‘Hey, I’m in Florida.’ So we did an island tour of Key West that started about eight o’clock at night and went to about six in the morning. The roosters are crowing and you’re getting a story at every different establishment on the island and history lessons and pirates and all that. That was kind of to be expected. That’s kind of what everyone sees from the outside. So we did all that and he invites me back down that summer and we hung around about three days. We did a little coaches clinic with about three other guys – Hal Mumme, one of his old colleagues, and some others. Then he got the job at Washington State. So I called him and I’m sure his phone is blowing up. I think he told me when he got the job at Mississippi State, he told me he literally had about 7,000 text messages on his phone. But I couldn’t get ahold of him (when he got the job at Washington State), so I told my wife, ‘Hey, I’m going to go fly out there. He’s got a press conference Tuesday and on Wednesday morning, I’m going to go knock on his door. So I fly out Wednesday morning. I text him and say, ‘Hey coach, I’m at the Quality Inn in Pullman. When are you around today to talk?’ He said, ‘I flew in and flew out. I’m back in Key West.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I’m chasing this guy across the country and I’ve got three kids at home and I’m borrowing money from my brother. It was a whole thing. So he calls me back later and says, ‘Listen, come on out.' He basically offers me a job. It was about half as much money as I was making. I didn’t even know what the job was. He just says, ‘You want the job?’ I go, ‘Heck yeah I want the job.’ I call my wife and was like, ‘Hey, we got it!’ She was like, ‘How much money are we getting?’ I say, ‘Well about half as much as we’re making now.’ So we sell the house, sell the car, sell the furniture and get rid of everything. We did that. Ever since then it has just been an unbelievable journey with him. He’s a great, great guy to work for. He has a balance in his life. He cares about his staff and his players. We spend a lot of nights until two or three in the morning, drawing up stuff on a board and (talking about) why are certain plays good against a team and then pizza places in the Northeast where I’m from and then viking history and then back to another play that’s good against this defense. Those first couple of years were (something). He’s just so fun to work for. You know he makes it so much more interesting. Then I got promoted to on the field that third season. That was about five years ago now. So yeah, it’s everything you guys can think of and imagine. Most of it is true and more.”