The university posted on its website that Gardi, who coached Hofstra from 1990-2005, died Wednesday after suffering a stroke last week.
Gardi was 119-62-2 in 16 seasons at Hofstra, ranking second in school history in wins and winning percentage (.650). Under Gardi, Hofstra — which has since dropped football — upgraded from Division III to I-AA and earned its first NCAA playoff victories.
He served an assistant with the Jets from 1976-84 before taking the Hofstra job.
Gardi is survived by his wife, Audrey, two children Joanne and David, daughter-in-law Michele, and four grandchildren.