Eric Tillman opened the door for Kent Austin's first CFL playing opportunity, inviting him to a college all-star game in 1986. He was there when Austin got his first coaching job, as quarterbacks coach of the Ottawa Renegades in 2003. And he gave him his first head coaching gig, hiring him to run the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2007.

This means two things: the 55-year-old Tillman has been a lot of places in the CFL (the above list doesn't include other stops in Montreal, Toronto, B.C. and Edmonton.)

And, appearances to the contrary, Kent Austin doesn't owe Eric Tillman a thing.

“I love to help my friends but when it comes to business, they better be capable. I'm not a philanthropist,” Austin, now the Ticats' general manager and head coach, said Friday after naming Tillman as a consultant with the club. “If Eric didn't have a track record of success, this opportunity wouldn't be here.”