The Latics had been searching for a new boss since John Sheridan's departure at the end of last season, and they have now finally made an appointment after the Northern Irishman agreed to move to Boundary Park.
The 41-year-old told the club's official website: "When I came down here, I felt like this was the right club to join. I really like what the owner said to me.
"He sold me his ideas and ambitions and I had demands of my own which I wanted to be met to give me the best opportunity to be successful. He has been really good with that and it's an exciting time for the football club.
"I'm more than ready for this job. It's a club that has massive tradition and I want to get an identity back to the club, take the club forward and hopefully we can move forward together."