Ross spent a season at the Suit Direct Stadium in 2004 making 31 appearances before moving back to his native Scotland with Falkirk after a somewhat acrimonious exit from Pools.
Earlier this month, as revealed by The Mail, Ross had been in contention for the vacancy at the Suit Direct Stadium having held talks with the club before deciding against the move ahead of Paul Hartley’s appointment.
Ross has been out of work since being axed by Scottish Premiership side Hibernian in December after a run of seven defeats in nine games brought an end to his two-year spell at Easter Road.
But the 46-year-old, who spent a year-and-a-half at the Stadium of Light in charge of Sunderland, has now sealed his return to the dugout with another Scottish Premiership side.
Ross has continued to be based in the North East following his spell on Wearside as manager but takes over at Tannadice Park after the Terrors finished fourth in the Scottish Premiership last season.
Speaking with the Sunderland Echo earlier this month, Ross revealed he was looking for opportunities to get back into work after taking a break from football.
“I wanted a break after six or seven years of constant management. Quite intense jobs as well,” he said.
“I have had opportunities to go back but I have decided that they weren’t quite right.
“I want to get back now as soon as possible but you want to make sure it is the right one.”
And that move back into management has now been confirmed with Dundee United.
“I’ve had a spell out of management and was happy to have a break,” said Ross.
“I’ve had offers from Scotland, England and overseas to return to work but I haven’t had that real buzz of excitement that you need to go in and do a good job.
“In all the conversations I’ve had with the club, I’ve felt that buzz and excitement. I firmly believe I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity at a terrific football club."