The Wales boss has left his role as Wakefield Trinity’s head of rugby to return to club coaching with the fallen Super League giants.
Bradford, relegated to League One at the end of last season, have been looking for a new boss since Australian Geoff Toovey confirmed last month he would not be returning to Odsal for a second season.
Kear is excited by the prospect of trying to revive the West Yorkshire club who, as recently as 2006, were crowned World Club champions but have since suffered numerous financial problems to fall from grace.
The 63-year-old, who won the Challenge Cup with Sheffield Eagles and Hull FC, has vast experience having also taken charge of England earlier in his career.
Kear has signed a three-year deal and is joined by long-serving clubman Leigh Beattie - who has held a variety of roles at Odsal - as his assistant while ex-Leeds Rhinos and England full-back Lee Smith is named as club captain.