Bennett takes over for Brian Norwood, who was named associate head coach and still will coach defense for the Bears. Baylor coach Art Briles announced the moves Friday.
Bennett, a Texas native, spent the past three seasons at Pittsburgh and will be the interim head coach for the Panthers (7-6) when they play Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday.
Coach Dave Wannstedt resigned under pressure last month, and newly appointed coach Mike Haywood was fired after being jailed on a domestic violence charge.
Bennett has been the head coach at SMU and defensive coordinator at seven schools.