Laxdal, 48, replaces Willie Desjardins, who was hired as coach of the Vancouver Canucks after leading Texas to the Calder Cup last season.
"Derek has a proven track record of developing young players to get the most out of them in a winning environment," Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. "His proven leadership, familiarity with our organization and tremendous character make him a great fit with our culture. We are very excited to welcome him to the Texas Stars."
Laxdal coached the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League to the Memorial Cup last season, and in four seasons with Edmonton won two WHL championships and at least 50 games three times.
Laxdal spent five seasons as coach of the Idaho Steelheads, the Stars' ECHL affiliate. They won the Kelly Cup in 2007, went to the league final twice, and won at least 40 games each season.