The Limerick man, who has 201 caps for Munster, retired from playing at the end of the 2007/08 season and joined the Munster backroom staff in July 2008 as Technical Advisor and Assistant Coach for Defence. Since then he has held the position of Head Coach with both the Munster U20s and Munster's British & Irish Cup squad that reached the inaugural B&I Cup final in May 2010.
He moved on to his current position, Munster Rugby Forwards Coach, at the start of the 2011/12 season. Additionally, the 40-year-old has experience at national level as the Forwards and Head Coach for the Ireland Wolfhounds and Forwards Coach for Ireland.
Commenting on the appointment, Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: "Anthony was the stand-out candidate to succeed Rob Penney at the end of the season and I believe he will do an excellent job in leading this squad forward. His experience and knowledge is of huge benefit to this young Munster side and I'm sure it will be an easy transition for both the players and backroom team to carry on the positive progress already made.
"I am glad that all parties could come to an agreement in such a prompt manner as we continue to focus our efforts on the remainder of the season. In the next few months Anthony will continue to play his part in the coaching team, supporting Rob, as Munster challenge for silverware in both competitions."
On confirmation of the promotion, Anthony Foley added: "I am very happy to be selected as the next Munster Rugby Head Coach. It is a huge honour and privilege for me.
"I am very fortunate to have played and achieved success with this club, my home club, at the top level and now I look forward to leading the next generation of Munster players to future success in the red jersey.
"But before that we have a job to do this season and I will continue to play my part, working closely with Rob [Penney], Simon [Mannix] and Ian [Costello], as we push for titles."