Roughriders hire Tillman as GM
The Saskatchewan Roughriders unveiled Eric Tillman as the club's new general manager and vice-president of football operations on Wednesday.
Tillman takes over thepost left vacantafter the Roughriders firedformer GM Roy Shivers on Monday.
"I am delighted to be afforded this opportunity," Tillman said. "Saskatchewan is a special place with the best football fans in the country. As such, I understand the magnitude of this responsibility."
This is Tillman's fourth GM job in the Canadian Football League. He served as a GM with the B.C. Lions (1993-95), Toronto Argonauts (1997) and Ottawa Renegades (2002-2004).
Tillmancaptured Grey Cup championships with the Lions in 1994 and Argonauts in 1997.
The Roughriders offered Tillman their general manager's post in 1999, but he rejected the opportunity for personal reasons. The club hired Shivers instead.
Tillman has nowreturned to Regina almost seven years later to accept the position.
"I am very pleased that we were able to bring Eric to Saskatchewan," Roughriders president andchief executive officerJim Hopson said in a news release.
"After speaking and spending time with Eric, I am fully confident in his ability to guide this team to a Grey Cup championship."
Tillman most recently served as a television football analyst this season on the CFL on CBC and Rogers Sportsnet.
Shivers sent away
Shivers, 65, spent 6Â½ seasons as GM of the Roughriders, the third-longest tenure behind Ken Preston (21 years) and Al Ford (11 years).
He was also the first black general manager in pro football history.
"Seven years is a long time in pro sport, in any pro sport," Hopson said earlier this week.
"And we seem to have hit the wall, as you say, the last couple of years, with our record and our playoff performance. I think there was concern that we were going to be stuck in that mode."
Hopson said the board of directors voted unanimously to dismiss Shivers prior to Saturday's 46-15 trouncing of the hapless Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Mosaic Stadium.
The Roughriders (4-5) entered this season as legitimate Grey Cup contenders, but lead the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Eskimos by only two points in the CFL West Division.
Saskatchewan is 52-64-1 sincethe hiring of Shivers on Dec. 24, 1999.
With files from the Canadian Press