Tisdale's first three seasons at Exeter transformed a club that had fallen out of the Football League. He inspired two successive promotions to lift City from the National Conference to League One.
The Grecians had noted his early progress as coach of university side Team Bath before making what turned out to be an astute appointment.
Paul, who joined Team Bath in 2000 after his playing days were prematurely ended by injury at 27, led the side to four promotions. He also took Bath to the first round proper of the FA Cup in 2002 as the first university team to enter the competition since 1881.
Exeter, too, made meteoric progress under Tisdale's tutillage. They reached the Conference play-off final in his first season - 2006-07 - before being pipped for promotion by Morecambe.
Despite selling players to the value of more than £250,000, Tisdale continued to find recruits to fit a neat, passing style. Exeter returned to Wembley in 2008, this time winning their play-off showdown with Cambridge.
As one of only four promotion-winning managers in Exeter's history, Tisdale attempted to repeat the success in League Two and guided them to second place with a final-day win at Rotherham.
More success followed for Tisdale and Exeter as he secured their League One status in 2009/10. The following campaign (2010/11), Tisdale once again improved his side's position and were indeed in promotion contention, only to miss out on a play-off place by one point.
Up to December, 2008, Exeter compiled a club record run of 125 matches without back-to-back defeats (all but five of those under Tisdale).
Malta-born Paul was a midfield product of Southampton's youth system before embarking on a career that included spells in Finland and Greece. He was also played with Yeovil and Bristol City, from where he had a first taste of life with Exeter on loan.