Goodway, dismissed by Oldham last month, turned down a chance to take charge last season, but has now accepted the challenge of taking over from Peter Mulholland, who was sacked two weeks ago.
"I realise I am taking on a club in a lowly position, but I am confident of turning things around for them," Goodway, who is on a family holiday in Spain, said. "We have lost a number of games narrowly during the first half of the season."
A board meeting in Paris on Saturday - attended by the co-opted directors from the Rugby League, Maurice Lindsay and Harry Jepson - decided to offer him his new job.
Goodway will return in time to watch his new side at home to London Broncos on Bank Holiday Monday. After that, he will take over a squad largely composed of Australians. His first problem could be the extended absence of one of them, as Paul Evans faces the disciplinary committee on Thursday after being sent off for a high tackle for the second time this season.
Wigan's shareholders will vote tonight on whether the club's chairman and vice-chairman, Jack Robinson and Tom Rathbone, should be sacked. The Shareholders' Action Group wants to vote the two men out of office and stop the sale of Central Park to a supermarket chain.
Officials are investigating an incident in Sunday's match at Halifax when the referee, Steve Ganson, was attacked by a fan who leaped over a fence and confronted Ganson after he had awarded a try to Wigan. The man was arrested and has been banned from Thrum Hall.