The university announced Hatcher's hiring Thursday and will formally introduce him Friday at a news conference.
Hatcher has a career record of 121-57 in 15 years as a college head coach at Murray State, Georgia Southern and Valdosta State. He replaces Pat Sullivan, who stepped down because of health issues after eight seasons.
Samford President Andrew Westmoreland says Hatcher is the perfect fit and ''a person of unshakable character.''
Hatcher's offense at Murray State ranked second nationally in passing offense last season.
He led Valdosta State to the Division II national title in 2004 and coached two-time Harlon Hill Trophy-winning quarterback Dusty Bonner. Hatcher was inducted into the Division II Hall of Fame in 2005.