Pendlebury, who has left Wigan's coaching staff in the continuing exodus from Central Park, spent part of his playing career with Halifax, appearing in the 1987 Challenge Cup final and making an unforgettable match-saving tackle.
"The big plus that was in place at Thrum Hall was the teamwork," Pendlebury said. "Our coach, Chris Anderson, made great play of people being unselfish. That attitude showed on the pitch and that's what I'll be trying to achieve here."
Pendlebury replaces Steve Simms, who resigned after Halifax' Cup defeat by Keighley last month. He came up on the rails to earn the nod, just pipping Hull KR's Steve Crooks.
Halifax have secured pounds 400,000 of the grant aid that they will need to upgrade The Shay in order to share the ground with Halifax Town FC. That still leaves the two clubs with a pounds 100,000 shortfall, but Halifax still hope to be installed in time for their World Club Championship matches in July.
The Halifax hooker, Paul Rowley, is being linked with a possible move to Wigan, as is the Bath scrum-half, Ian Sanders.
Bath have been approached by Wigan, who see Sanders, after promising performances against them in the two cross-code matches last year, as a potential replacement for Shaun Edwards. Wigan, who are still holding out for a fee from the London Broncos for Edwards, have also been in touch with Castleford over their transfer-listed half-back, Tony Smith.
The British referee, Stuart Cummings, has been appointed to take charge of the Anzac Day Test between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney on 25 April.