The Edmonton Eskimos are going to the playoffs, but their general manager isn’t.
The CFL team announced Saturday it had fired Eric Tillman after finishing the 2012 regular season with a 7-11 record. While that was enough to qualify Edmonton for the East Division playoffs, it sent them to last place in the West.
“I have spent considerable time looking at the future direction of this club and did not see Eric as a part of this team moving forward,” Eskimos’ president and CEO Len Rhodes said in a statement. “We will begin our search for a new general manager immediately and hope to have a successor in place by the end of the calendar year.”
The Eskimos, who won only two of their last 10 games, began the season without their No. 1 quarterback Ricky Ray. Tillman traded him to the Toronto Argonauts to free up salary cap space and to go with journeyman quarterback Steven Jyles.
Jyles was injured for part of the season and replaced by Kerry Joseph, then Matt Nichols. The Eskimos have yet to name their starting quarterback for the Eastern semifinal in Toronto against the Ray-led Argonauts.
Edmonton initially played surprisingly well, but then slumped under Tillman, who was hired to replace Dan Maciocia. In his 12 years as a CFL GM, Tillman had four Grey Cup appearances and three wins.
Last season, the Eskimos advanced to the Western Final before losing to the eventual Grey Cup-champion B.C. Lions.