Tait has been out of rugby since he was removed from his position as head coach at Newcastle Falcons in 2012, is seen throughout rugby as a defence specialist, but his role with the academies is expected to be wider than that. He will start his new job next Monday.
A dual-code internationalist, Tait was first capped by Scotland at rugby union during the 1987 World Cup in New Zealand. The following year, he switched to rugby league, spent the next eight years playing for Widnes and Leeds, and was capped in the 13-a-side game by Scotland and Great Britain.
After rugby union went open in 1995, Tait joined Newcastle Falcons, where he was part of the Premiership-winning side in 1998. By then, he had also resumed his international union career, which he ended - in 1999 - with 27 caps and two British and Irish Lions Test appearances to his name.
"It's awesome to be back," said Tait, whose son Michael signed for Edinburgh a few months ago. "I've always believed that Scottish players around the age of 16/17/18 are ready to absorb best practice and kick on in their development. I saw how rugby league went about the academy business when they set it up a few years ago and for me it's important that young players learn from the outset that you have to work hard, be dedicated and be prepared to make sacrifices."