Shaw has lived in the town for several years, and the 35-year-old has been a success as assistant to Bobbie Goulding at Spotland in 2004 and 2005.
Shaw has also had spells playing with Brisbane Broncos, London Broncos, Canberra Raiders, Sheffield Eagles (where he was part of the Challenge Cup winning side of 1998), Castleford Tigers, Salford City Reds, Oldham and Rochdale.
Leigh captain Paul Rowley will be assistant to Shaw after captaining the Centurions to the 22-18 Northern Rail Cup final success against Hull Kingston Rovers.
Centurions Director of Football Stephen Grainey explained: “Both Darren and Paul are qualified to the highest coaching level.
“Some people may be surprised at the selection of Shaw but the last young Australian coach who was given a chance at Leigh Centurions, Ian Millward, didn’t do too badly in the game.
“It was vital that the club made this appointment as this crucial point of the season. Darren is immediately available and has started to help me recruit new players”.