The former England starlet has been promoted to the role as he starts to consider his future beyond his playing days.
Cole, 36, was one of the most gifted footballers of his generation and still has much to offer the game as a coach.
The ex-Chelsea midfielder, who scored one of his best goals at the 2006 World Cup against Sweden, follows former team-mates Steven Gerrard and his big pal Frank Lampard into the coaching scene.
Gerrard was confirmed as new Rangers boss while Lamps has taken over at Championship club Derby.
Cole said: “I’m very excited to start this chapter of my career with the Rowdies.
“I have a lot of experience to pass on to the players and I want to play a role in elevating this club to new heights.
“My primary role is still to play on the field, but I’m very excited to step into coaching as well.”
Rowdies head coach Neill Collins said: “Joe has an incredible store of knowledge about the game to share with our young players and with our coaching staff.
“One of the main provisos of me taking the head coaching job a few weeks ago was that I wanted to open an avenue for Joe to share that knowledge as an assistant coach.”
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