Rochdale have appointed Matt Calland as head coach on a deal until the end of the 2020 season.
Calland, 47, had three spells as a player with the Hornets and is a Championship Grand Final-winning coach, having steered Halifax to glory in 2010.
He said: “I am delighted to be back on board and take on a new challenge.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done and I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Rochdale Hornets was my first professional club and it is a job I have always wanted.
“Hopefully everyone involved with the club can get behind the team as we look to win some matches.”
Calland, who won a Super League title with Bradford, has been coaching Rochdale Mayfield in the NCL.
He will be assisted by Dave Larder, while Miles Greenwood remains as conditioning coach.
Hornets chief executive Steve Kerr said: “We are delighted to announce Matt Calland as the club’s new head coach. He brings with him a wealth of experience, a winning attitude and a no nonsense approach.
“He is a missing piece of the puzzle that we have been trying to put together for a number of years. He is a local coach, whose experience of the game in Rochdale is second to none.
“He has an unrivalled knowledge of player development through his work managing the Hopwood Hall rugby league academy and I am thoroughly excited to be working with him.
“This is an exciting appointment for the club and I would encourage people in the borough to get behind Matt, his team and their club as we will fight tooth and nail to secure our Championship status.”
Rochdale parted company with Carl Forster earlier this week.