"After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction," said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. "We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential."
The Panthers have also fired assistant coach Gord Murphy and assistant coach Craig Ramsay, replacing them with Brian Skrudland and John Madden.
Goalie coach Robb Tallas, video coach Jason Cipolla and strength and conditioning coach Craig Slaunwhite will remain on the staff.
Horachek, 53, becomes Florida's 12th head coach in franchise history. Prior to working in San Antonio, Horacheck spent nine seasons with the Nashville Predators (2003-13), serving his last two years as associate head coach.
Horachek has also served as the head coach for the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals (2002-03), ECHL's Trenton Titans (2001-02) and the International Hockey League's Orlando Solar Bears (1999-2001), where he won the 2001 Turner Cup.
"Peter is a bright hockey mind who brings to our club a wealth of coaching knowledge," said Tallon. "He is a focused, determined and demanding coach who has experienced great success at all levels of competition. Both Brian and John are proven winners who won multiple Stanley Cups and are individuals that our players know very well. With these additions, we are confident that we have a staff that will work tirelessly to bring continued success to our organization."