Frings has signed an 18-month contract at Darmstadt but faces a daunting challenge in his first head coaching role.
Frings has signed an 18-month contract at Darmstadt but faces a daunting challenge in his first head coaching role with the club eight points from outright safety.
The 40-year-old will replace interim boss Roman Berndroth who was put in charge following the dismissal of Norbert Meier this month.
Frings previously worked as an assistant under Viktor Skripnik at Werder Bremen before the pair were dismissed in September.
"I'm aware of the difficulty of my task but I've always been a fighter and a team player and that's exactly what I'm going to do from this point forward and once training restarts on January 3," Frings said in a statement.
The ex-Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund midfielder was capped 78 times by Germany and played at both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as well as Euro 2004 and Euro 2008.
"We're convinced that even without a lot of coaching experience he will show he can lead his task with expertise, ambition and team spirit," added Darmstadt president Ruediger Fritsch.
Frings' first game in charge will be at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, who last week appointed Dieter Hecking as their new coach, on January 21 once the Bundesliga resumes following the winter break.
Darmstadt have just eight points from 16 matches and finished the year with a run of eight successive league defeats.