Eric Tillman
Date of birth: (1957-07-24) July 24, 1957 (age 62)
Place of birth: Jackson, Mississippi
Career information
Position(s): GM/VP (Football Operations)
College: Mississippi
 As administrator:
Houston Oilers (PR)
Montreal Concordes (PP)
Senior Bowl (ED)
BC Lions (GM)
NFL Europe (ED)
Toronto Argonauts (GM)
Toronto Argonauts (GM)
Ottawa Renegades (GM)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (GM)
Edmonton Eskimos (GM)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Consultant)
Career highlights and awards

Eric Tillman (born July 24, 1957)[1][2] is a consultant for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the former general manager of the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was fired November 3, 2012. He had previously held the same position with the British Columbia Lions (1993–94), Toronto Argonauts (1997, 1999), Ottawa Renegades (2002–04),[2] and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2006–2010).[3][4] He won Grey Cups with teams he was managing in 1994, 1997 and 2007.[2][3]

Tillman previously served as a CFL analyst for TSN and Rogers Sportsnet,[3] and as a scout.

Saskatchewan RoughridersEdit

Part way through the 2006 CFL season, Tillman was hired as the Roughriders general manager after they fired long time GM Roy Shivers.[2] The team finished 5-4-0 down the stretch and clinched a playoff spot. Tillman was credited with being the brains behind the scenes that allowed Saskatchewan to win their third Grey Cup, in 2007,[5] and he was rewarded with a contract extension through 2010. The coach at the time was former Rider quarterback Kent Austin, the quarterback who won the Grey Cup with the Riders in 1989. Other notable signees in Tillman's time were Stevie Baggs, Weston Dressler, Rob Bagg, Omarr Morgan(second stint with the team)Yo Murphy, Jason Armstead (second stint), as well as re-acquiring the fan favourite in Regina, Corey Holmes.[6]

Sexual assault charges and resignationEdit

On January 27, 2009, Tillman was charged with sexual assault. Regina police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said the complainant, a 16-year-old girl, made her allegation on August 6, 2008.[7] He was placed on paid administrative leave by the team on February 5, 2009.[8] Tillman testified in his defence that he had been on medication when the incident occurred, while the accuser and his family had accepted his apology. Tillman pleaded guilty to the charge on January 4, 2010, the day his trial on this summary offence was to begin.[9] He was granted an absolute discharge the following day and subsequently received no criminal record but was fined $50.00.[10] [11] Judge Murray Hinds stated that Tillman was "genuinely remorseful [and] in this case there's no suggestion that Mr. Tillman is not generally of good character. He has no prior criminal record. His behaviour towards [the teenage girl] on Aug. 6 appears to be an aberration fuelled by his consumption of two non-prescription drugs, which he used for sleep and pain relief."[6] On January 8, 2010, after a several hour discussion with the board of directors, he resigned from his position as the Roughriders' general manager.

Edmonton EskimosEdit

On September 14, 2010, Tillman was hired as General Manager of the Edmonton Eskimos. He took over an Eskimos team that had a league-worst 2-8 record. Tillman stated that his primary goal would be improving the team's Canadian players. After joining the Eskimos midway through the 2010 season, the team went on a tear going 5-3. They finished just two points out of the final playoff spot, losing to the Roughriders on the final day of the season.

According to Eskimos president Rick LeLacheur, the team received a "substantial" number of phone calls from fans opposed to hiring Tillman, however, the Eskimos organization had deemed him worthy of a second chance. Tillman said LeLacheur has already given it to him straight: "There is a second chance, there will not be a third chance." Tillman said he doesn't begrudge those who didn't want him hired. "It's my responsibility to carry myself in a way and conduct myself in a way that will re-earn respect and trust," he said.[12]

On Dececmber 12, 2011, Tillman traded quarterback Ricky Ray to the Toronto Argonauts for quarterback Steven Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw and a first-round pick in the 2012 CFL Draft. The move would be criticized as Jyles struggled at quarterback for the Eskimos while Ray led the Argonuats to victory in the 100th Grey Cup.[13][14]

On November 3, 2012, 26 months after he was was hired, Tillman was fired by Eskimos president Len Rhodes.[14]

CFL GM recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Result
BC1993 1080.5562nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
BC1994 1161.6114th in West Division 3 0 Won 82nd Grey Cup
TOR1997 1530.8331st in East Division 2 0 Won 85th Grey Cup
TOR1999 990.5004th in West Division 0 1 Lost in East Semi-Final
OTT2002 4140.2224th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
OTT2003 7110.3894th in East Division - - Missed Playoffs
SSK2006 540.5563rd in West Division 1 1 Lost in West Final
SSK2007 1260.6672nd in West Division 3 0 Won 95th Grey Cup
SSK2008 1260.6672nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in West Semi-Final
SSK2009 1071.5561st in West Division 1 1 Lost in 97th Grey Cup
EDM2010 530.6254th in West Division - - Missed Playoffs
EDM2011 1170.6112nd in West Division 1 1 Lost in West Final
EDM2012 7110.3893rd in East Division - - Fired During Playoffs
Total 111952.5402 Division
11 5 3 Grey Cups

External linksEdit


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Tillman is fan friendly". Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Tillman's future in CFL in doubt". CBC. January 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. Murray McCormick (January 5, 2010). "Tillman stands behind Saskatchewan Roughriders' code of conduct". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  5. [2]
  6. 6.0 6.1 [3]
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CBC1
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named VancouverSun1
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TorontoStar1
  10. "Tillman Named New General Manager of Floundering Eskimos". Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TorontoStar2
  12. "Tillman Named New General Manager of Floundering Eskimos". Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  13. Moddejonge, Gerry (November 7, 2012). "Ricky Ray trade will overshadow everything else in former Edmonton Eskimos GM Eric Tillman's tenure". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  14. 14.0 14.1 O'Leary, Chris (November 3, 2012). "Edmonton Eskimos vague on reasons for firing GM Tillman". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
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