The former Belgium winger led Genk to the Pro League title in 2011, earning them a place in last season's Champions League, and has also managed Anderlecht and Mechelen as well as the Belgian national team and Abu Dhabi's Al Jazira.
He was on Wednesday named as the permanent successor to Ricardo Sa Pinto in the Sporting hotseat, but will serve only as assistant to caretaker boss Oceano on Thursday night and for Monday's Liga Zon Sagres clash with Academica before taking sole charge next Tuesday.
A statement on the club's website read: "Pursuant to the fulfilment of the obligation which arises from the provisions of Article 248, paragraph 1 a) of the Securities Code, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Futebol, SAD, announce they have hire coach Frank Vercauteren, who will assume the helm of first-team coach from October 30.
"We also confirm that the contract with the coach is valid until June 30, 2013, with the option to extend the contractual relationship beyond that point."
Sa Pinto left his post the day after a shock 3-0 defeat to Hungarian minnows Videoton left Sporting bottom of the group with just one point from two games, having also drawn 0-0 with Basle, while they also lie 12th in the domestic league.
Genk, by contrast, lie third in the Jupiler Pro League just a point behind leading pair Club Brugge and Anderlecht and top their group in Europe, having drawn with the Swiss champions but beating Videoton 3-0.
Coach Mario Been is awaiting news on the fitness of Jeroen Simaeys, who missed the weekend win over Beerschot. Fellow defender Torben Joneleit, midfielder Khaleem Hyland and striker Kennedy Nwanganga will definitely miss out.