Lowes, 43, a former Great Britain hooker, has also quit his job as assistant to Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott to take up a two-year contract with the Headingley-based Championship club, where he succeeds Diccon Edwards.
"I am extremely excited about the possibilities to achieve something special as a group here at Leeds Carnegie," Lowes said.
"Having been around the squad last year, I can see the potential to kick on this season and achieve our goal of returning to the Aviva Premiership.
"I have always enjoyed rugby union, both as a player and a coach, and I believe we have the ingredients within this group to move forward from the achievements of last season."
Lowes, who was a Grand-Final winner with Bradford after stints at Hunslet and Leeds, had a spell in rugby union with West Park Leeds towards the end of his career.
He was briefly head coach of Salford before becoming assistant at Warrington and Leeds.
The Rhinos have said they have no plans to replace Lowes before the end of the season but England head coach Steve McNamara will begin the search for a successor when he returns from a fact-finding trip to Australia next month.
Lowes has been McNamara's sole assistant since succeeding Daryl Powell as the England number two.
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