The 2015 season will be the eighth for Matt Gardner as a member of the Sacred Heart University football coaching staff. He currently serves as the program's quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.
Under Coach Gardner's tutelage, quarterback R.J. Noel has established himself as one of the program's top quarterbacks - and in just two seasons. The sophomore threw for 2,427 yards in 2024, the third-best single-season number in program history and is second all-time with 4,698 passing yards. Noel earned First-Team All-NEC following the 2014 campaign, a year after being named the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year, after throwing for 2,203 yards and accounting for 31 touchdowns.
Upon his arrival at SHU, Gardner worked on the defensive side of the ball coaching the outside linebackers before moving to the offensive side of the ball for the 2010 season, coaching the wide receivers.
He came to Sacred Heart after four coaching seasons with the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League where he coached the wide receivers, linebackers and oversaw all aspects of special teams.
Following the 2004 and 2005 Crush seasons, Gardner served as linebackers coach at Division III Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Mass. He helped the New England Football Conference school reach back-to-back appearances in the NEFC championship game and ECAC North Atlantic Bowl. In 2005, the Falcons were the conference's top ranked defense.
Prior to joining the Crush, Gardner spent one season coaching wide receivers and assisting with special teams at his alma mater, Division III Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Gardner played wide receiver for four seasons at Randolph-Macon from 1999-2002.
Gardner earned his Master's Degree from Sacred Heart University in May, 2011 and he and his wife currently reside in Norwalk, Conn.