Mark McGhee has been appointed manager at Bristol Rovers on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
The 54-year-old replaces Paul Buckle, who was sacked on 3 January with the Pirates sat five points above the League Two drop zone.
McGhee has been out of work since leaving Aberdeen in December 2010.
"I'm quite nervous but I hope the nerves show that I'm not complacent and thinking that it's going to be easy," he told BBC Points West.
"I know there's work to be done and I'm looking forward to it."
Chairman Nick Higgs added: "Mark sold himself very well. He's not coming here for a stepping stone to get back into his career, he wants to come here and re-build the club. We've reached a low ebb and we need to move forward."
A former Newcastle, Aberdeen and Celtic striker, McGhee's first managerial position came at Reading in 1991, where he ended his 18-year playing career.
He won promotion to Division One with the Royals before leaving to join Leicester City in the Premier League, followed by a spell with Wolves.
McGhee then went on to manage Millwall and Brighton - helping both sides to promotion - before heading back to Scotland to lead Motherwell.
After a successful stint at Fir Park, which saw them claim a place in Europe, he moved to SPL rivals Aberdeen but lasted just 18 months after winning only 17 of his 62 games.
McGhee becomes the sixth person to take charge of Rovers in the last 12 months, including caretaker bosses, and his first game is away at second-placed Cheltenham on Saturday.
Since Buckle's departure, the Pirates have claimed four points from two games to climb to 18th under assistant boss Shaun North, whose future at the club has not yet been decided.