It is the former Hibs midfielder’s first foray into first-team management, having enjoyed coaching stints at age group level and then with Hearts development squad before being lured to New Douglas Park as assistant manager midway through last season.
The 39-year-old’s background, working with young players, contributed to him getting the top job.
“As a person he possesses all the qualities which were looking for to take the club forward,” said chairman Allan Maitland, as Hamilton embark on a second successive season in the Championship.
“From his day to day working on the training pitch you can see he has a real desire for developing young players and passing his knowledge and understanding of the game on to others.”
Rankin, who was on Manchester United’s books as a youngster, made 111 appearances for Hibs between 2008-2011, before joining Dundee United. He also played for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ross County, Falkirk, Queen of the South and Clyde before hanging up his boots.
As a coach, he took on the Under-17, U-18 and then the reserve side at Hearts and was only lured away from the Gorgie club in December, when he became Taylor’s assistant.
He will now take the lead at New Douglas Park.
“Speaking with Allan and the Board I believe that our vision for this football club is very much aligned,” said Rankin.
“The fitness levels of the squad are very high but we want to keep improving between now and the Dundee game (July 9) and I am looking forward to getting the new season underway.”