“I think the big thing is realizing that I was in their shoes and those guys worked hard,” he said. “You get into coaching because you love to coach and you’re passionate. At some point, everybody wants to be a head coach. So I always try to put myself in everybody else’s shoes when I’m dealing with them. When anybody has a chance to take on a new opportunity and you’ve seen how hard they’ve worked, you kind of realize that’s just part of it, and you want to see those guys succeed because they made a lot of sacrifices.”
The assistant coaches who have been promoted include Kevin Warne at Georgetown, Ryan Moran at UMBC, and Kevin Conry at Michigan. And Brian Phipps is the head coach at Archbishop Spalding in Severn.
Tillman, 47, joked that watching the departures makes him “an old guy now.” But he said he feels a sense of obligation to “pay it forward” as Jeff Long encouraged him to leave Ithaca for Navy and Richie Meade did the same from Navy to Harvard.
“Coach Meade did a lot for me to have a chance to be the head coach up at Harvard,” Tillman recalled. “When I was at Ithaca College, Coach Long encouraged me to go to Navy. He basically said, ‘Hey, you’ve been here for four years and you’ve done a lot, and this is a new challenge for you and a new opportunity to grow.’ That’s what this is all about. So I don’t look at it selfishly. I kind of have to put on a different hat and realize that these are people that are not trying to do anything selfish. They’re just trying to chase their dreams, and you’re happy for them.”