Chris Melillo Warrior Football Scholarship

The Chris Melillo Warrior Football Scholarship was created to support student athletes who participate in the WSU Football Program.


1. Each recipient must be enrolled full-time and in good standing at Winona State University.
2. Each recipient must be a member of the Warrior Football team.
3. Each recipient must be NCAA academically eligible to compete in Football.
4. There is no financial need requirement for this award.
5. Preference would be to award this scholarship to a freshman or junior college transfer to be renewed for that player should he meet the criteria set forth by the Head Football Coach.


Christopher Melillo is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kaye/Bassman’s Energy Practice. He manages teams in several areas of the energy industry as well as managing his own team in Oil and Gas Engineering and Geoscience recruitment along with coverage in Energy Commodity Trading. As Practice Leader, Christopher is responsible for the strategic design and development of the practice as a whole. In addition to setting the pace at Kaye/Bassman with his industry leadership, he is a committee member of the Kaye/Bassman Foundation, where he has been a big part of the growth and success of the Foundation. His passion for helping others has played a key role in the Foundation’s milestone accomplishment of donating over $1,000,000 since inception.

Christopher started in the executive search industry in 1990 with PEI then recruited to Rapport Associates Ltd. Six months later, he was promoted to Vice President of Business Development and made Partner where he worked closely with the Interim Management Practice serving Third World development bank consultancies including two large projects for the World Bank – a project with National Housing Corporation in Papua New Guinea and a highway civil engineering project in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Chris was also responsible for production and administrative oversight of all three of Rapport’s divisions including the Rapport Temporary Service.

In 1994, Christopher started Global Search, Inc. which was later acquired by a competing firm from Nashville, TN. He then started MAG Partners, Inc. which was then sold to Kaye/Bassman in 2004.

Christopher studied Criminal Justice at Winona State University which he attended on a football scholarship. He lettered four years and led the defense his Junior and Senior years. Christopher has been an avid marathoner, a Forward for the Chicago Lions and Dallas Reds Rugby Football Clubs, and is now a competitive power-lifter with two World Records and two World Championships for two separate, drug-free, powerlifting federations. He currently lives with his wife Jodi in Addison, TX.

I was recruited by several schools at Division IAA and Division II levels, but the opportunity and energy at WSU far outweighed other offers. Without a financial scholarship I would have most likely joined the military or immediately gone straight to work in the trades right out of high school. To play college football on scholarship gave me the opportunity to be part of the 6th percentile of all high school football players who fall into that elite category. The professional successes I have had in my life are reflective of that overall experience and without the scholarship those successes would have never come to be. My wife and I feel it is our responsibility as well as a great opportunity to give someone else the same chances and experience which was afforded to me by some other donor(s) who made it possible for me to be a Winona State Warrior!!!!

Athletics Department
Supplemental Questions
  1. Are you a student athlete on the Warriors football team?
  2. Are you NCAA academically eligible to compete in Football?