Norvell was the lowest-paid coach in the Mountain West with Nevada at roughly $620,000 annually and is expected to get a sizable raise to move within the conference.
"I would like to thank [athletic director] Joe Parker, President Joyce McConnell, and the other members of the search committee for entrusting me with this incredible opportunity," Norvell said in a statement. "I am humbled, thankful, but most importantly excited to begin this process of building Colorado State into the championship contender we all know it can be. My family and I are ecstatic and cannot wait to get to Fort Collins to get started."
Norvell compiled a 33-26 record in five seasons at Nevada, including an 8-4 mark this year. The Wolf Pack will play Western Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 27.
Colorado State coach Steve Addazio was fired last week after two seasons in Fort Collins, where he went 4-12. Colorado State, which opened a new $220 million on-campus stadium in 2017, is viewed as one of the best jobs in the conference.
Before taking the Nevada job, Norvell had several stops as an assistant coach in college football and the NFL, including time at Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona State.
Assistant coach Vai Taua will be interim coach for Nevada in its bowl game.