|College:||Western New England, '08|
Primary Recruiting Areas: New Jersey & Pennsylvania
Eli Gardner is in his fourth season as assistant coach with the Stonehill College football program. Gardner is serving his second full year as defensive coordinator while also working as position coach for the Skyhawks linebackers. Previously, he also served as special teams coordinator.
Stonehill led the Northeast-10 in pass defense in 2011, yielding 187.0 yards per game, while ranking third in scoring defense at 25.5 points allowed per game. The Skyhawks 14 fumble recoveries in 2011 was second best in the NE-10 and ranked 25th nationally in Division II, while the team also ranked 15th in DII for opponent fourth down percentage (31.3%).
Stonehill showed improvement in 2011 from 2010, when Gardner first took over the defensive unit playcalling. Still, the Skyhawks led the NE-10 for pass efficiency defense (108.9) and opponent third down conversion percentage (28.7%).
Gardner served as special teams coordinator in 2009 and Stonehill boasted one of the top kick return units in Division II with a Conference-best 26.7 yards per return, while also ranking second in punt average at 32.1 yards per kick. Gardner still served a key role as linebackers coach for a defense that led the NE-10 for red-zone defense (64.4%) and was second with 27 sacks.
Prior to joining the staff at Stonehill, Gardner spent one season as defensive line coach and video coordinator at Western New England University, his alma mater. He assisted in planning an organization of practices, scouting reports and game plans while also serving as the Golden Bears' primary recruiter in northern New Jersey and New York State.
Gardner is a 2008 graduate of Western New England, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in sports management. He was a four year letterwinner for the Golden Bears football team serving as captain his senior season. He finished his career with 147 tackles as a linebacker and defensive end and was part of a class that finished their careers with the most victories over a four year period in program history upon graduation.
Gardner, a native of Milford, N.J., currently resides in Easton.