Turner interviewed with the Panthers last week and will take over for Mike Shula, who was fired on Tuesday.
"Norv has coached Hall of Famers, he's set a lot of people on the career paths that they've had," coach Ron Rivera said. "I'm excited about his knowledge and his offensive prowess. It's going to be invaluable to us have him evaluate our personnel and help take our quarterback to another level."
Turner returns to the coaching ranks for the first time since stepping down as offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings in November 2016. Prior to that decision, Turner had served as an NFL head coach or coordinator since 1991.
The 65-year-old Turner has a wealth of coaching experience, serving as offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys (1991-1993), then-San Diego Chargers (2001), Miami Dolphins (2002-2003), Oakland Raiders (2004-2005), San Francisco 49ers (2006), Cleveland Browns (2013), and Vikings (2014-2016). He helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII.
Turner also has been a head coach with the Washington Redskins from 1994 to 2000 and the Chargers from 2007 to 2012.
Turner's system has produced the NFL's leading rusher on six different occasions: Emmitt Smith (1991-93), Ricky Williams (2002), LaDainian Tomlinson (2007) and Adrian Peterson (2015). With Cleveland in 2013, wide receiver Josh Gordon led the league with 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns on 87 catches in only 14 games. Gordon joined Michael Irvin as wide receivers under Turner who led the NFL in receiving.
Turner's son, Scott, who worked with the quarterbacks at the University of Michigan this past season, will be the new position coach for Cam Newton, multiple outlets reported.
The Panthers ended the 2017 season with an 11-5 record, losing in the playoffs to the New Orleans Saints. They finished 2017 ranked 19th in total offense (323.7 yards per game), 28th in passing (192.3 per game), fourth in rushing offense (131.4 per tilt) and 12th in points per game (22.7).