In the role in an interim capacity since the resignation of Peter Sharp three weeks ago, Shepherd will now officially assume the position for the final seven matches of the season.
In making the announcement Sharks Chairman Damian Keogh was confident Shepherd had the coaching ability and respect of the playing group to capably handle the role.
“James has expressed a willingness to step into the role and is familiar with the players, staff and the systems here at the club so his appointment will result in minimal disruption,” Keogh said. “He is an accomplished coach who we have every confidence in and he has the backing of the senior playing group.
“It has been a challenging season for all concerned, with James now our third NRL coach, added to the fact that we have been without key players such as Gallen, Lewis and Fifita for much of the year and have battled a massive injury toll.
“Through it all James has gone about his business very competently and with a minimum of fuss and we have no doubt he will continue to be able to do that for our remaining games this year,” Keogh added.
In accepting the appointment Shepherd was grateful of the chance being afforded him and was looking to do all he could in helping the Sharks finish a difficult season strongly.