Mark Thompson will coach Essendon in 2014, while James Hird serves his 12-month suspension for his role in the Bombers' supplements scandal.
Thompson, who was fined $30,000 by the AFL following its investigation of the Bombers 'supplements program, is expected to coach the club for only one year before Hird returns to the position.
He served as an assistant to Hird, having returned to Windy Hill in 2011 after 11 years at Geelong where he coached the club to two premierships.
Thompson was a premiership captain with the Bombers in 1993, having also won flags in 1984 and 1985.
The Bombers announced further changes to their coaching structure, with former Adelaide coach Neil Craig appointed head of coaching development and strategy.
Craig was Melbourne caretaker coach for much of this year after Mark Neeld was sacked mid-season.
More to follow.