Rovers said in a statement that the 41-year-old was the “standout candidate” following a detailed recruitment process "due to his unrivalled knowledge of the club”.
Coppinger retired from playing last summer after making a club record 695 appearances for Rovers and moved into a role as head of player development.
As head of football operations he now will be tasked with setting the club’s footballing identity and overseeing the recruitment, analysis, medical and conditioning departments.
“I’m really excited,” Coppinger told Rovers’ media team.
"It’s a big challenge but one that I am really looking forward to.
“It’s something that I’ve been working towards since I turned 35 or 36. I feel this sort of role best suits my skills.
“With 24 years as a professional footballer across all levels, I feel like this role is massive within a football club. I’ve been more aware of what the role takes and what it looks like behind the scenes, working with people at the club in that capacity like managers, coaches, agents, head of recruitment - all the relevant people.
“People see James Coppinger the footballer but I’ve been working in business for the last five years and I’ve been doing things to help propel me into this position.
“Professional football is more than just what you see on a Saturday. It’s about all the things you put in place to help you perform. I’ve been able to identify why certain cultures at this club over the years were successful or weren’t successful.
“It’s not just about getting the best players in. There’s so much more to it than that. It’s every department and making sure everyone is aligned and the values are there.
“That’s a big thing for me and I’m excited to play a part in making sure it happens.”
Rovers, whose relegation to League Two could be mathematically confirmed this weekend, say they have created the new role following a comprehensive review into their football operation.
Rovers said in a statement: “Doncaster Rovers are pleased to announce the appointment of James Coppinger as the club’s new head of football operations.
“The 41-year-old proved to be the standout candidate from a detailed recruitment process due to his unrivalled knowledge of the club.
“His detailed plans and ideas for the future direction of the football club, along with his determination to ensure success, excited the board.
“In the role, Coppinger will oversee the whole of the club’s football operation, including implementing a clear identity on the team as well as culture by which players and staff operate.
“In addition to determining working practices, he will ensure cohesion between the various footballing departments including coaching, medical and sports science, analysis and recruitment.
“The decision to create the role came after a comprehensive review of Rovers’ football operation, after which it was decided a change in structure was required in order to ensure the team is as well prepared as possible for each season and individual game.
“It is believed that by allowing the first team manager to focus solely on coaching his squad, it will give the club the best chance of delivering winning football.”