The Yorkshireman has stepped up from his youth coaching role to replace the departed Chris Wilder in the hot seat until the end of the season, taking charge of a United side currently 14 points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League.
Former AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall has joined his backroom staff alongside Wilder’s former assistant Alan Knill, but the interim management team got off to the worst possible start with a 5-0 defeat at Leicester City on Sunday.
Heckingbottom succeeded Neil Lennon as Hibs boss in February 2019, leading the club on an unbeaten league run of ten matches including a first Edinburgh derby win at Tynecastle in six years.
However, Hibs struggled in the early part of the following season and with just one win from their opening 11 matches, Heckingbottom was dismissed following a 5-2 League Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic, with the Easter Road side languishing in tenth place in the Scottish top flight.
The 43-year-old former Barnsley and Leeds boss was out of work for eight months before landing a coaching role with Sheffield United’s under-23s in July.
Confirming Heckingbottom as interim boss, United chief executive Stephen Bettis said: "The appointment of Paul and the integration from development to senior level is testimony to the great work that is currently being done at the academy.
“The club sees the following months as an opportunity to further develop some of our talents at the academy and to give them valuable time to train with the first team.”