Scott Johnson aims to reverse Scotland's fortunes after being appointed interim head coach for the Six Nations and summer tour to South Africa next year.
The 50-year-old Australian has been placed in temporary charge following Andy Robinson's resignation as head coach after the humiliating loss to Tonga - Scotland's 10th in 13 Tests - which left them 12th in the International Rugby Board world rankings. The global search for a permanent successor to Robinson is ongoing.
"It's an honour to take charge of the national team for our imminent campaign," said Johnson of the Six Nations, which begins for Scotland against England at Twickenham on February 2.
"I will be doing everything I can to bring the best out of our players as we all seek to achieve winning performances."
Johnson will step up from his role as senior assistant coach and will bid to emulate, at least in part, Stuart Lancaster, who was so impressive as England interim head coach during last year's Six Nations he was appointed on a permanent basis following four wins from five matches.
England at least had a wealth of playing resources at Lancaster's disposal, even if he inherited a mess from the World Cup fiasco which prompted Martin Johnson to quit.
Scotland's resources are not so rich but after resigning on November 25, the morning after the Tonga debacle, Robinson stated his belief the team could thrive in future.
The coaching team remains as it was for the autumn Tests - assistant coach Matt Taylor (defence) and specialist coaches Duncan Hodge (kicking and catching) and Massimo Cuttitta (scrummaging) - but the SRU will soon appoint an interim forwards coach.
Robinson used to oversee the pack and the SRU could now turn to another ex-England flanker, with Neil Back already an employee as forwards coach at Edinburgh.
SRU chief executive praised Johnson's experienced, but the former United States Eagles and Ospreys head coach is considered a divisive figure by some.
He was once in caretaker control of Wales, where his time was marred by rumours of player power forcing the exit of previous boss Mike Ruddock.