Hill left Spotland in the summer of 2011 to take charge of npower Championship outfit Barnsley, having led Dale to their first promotion for 41 seasons the previous year and a subsequent ninth-place finish in League One.
The departure of key players and a disastrous start to last season under Hill's successor Steve Eyre left Rochdale battling against a relegation John Coleman could not avert when he was appointed in the wake of Eyre's sacking a year ago.
Coleman was dismissed on Monday following a run of eight defeats in 10 games and, having suffered a similar fate at Oakwell last month, Hill quickly agreed to take up the reins until the end of the season.
"Once this opportunity represented itself it was an easy decision," he said. "It was virtually made as a result of a phone call.
"I had no hesitation. People suggested that I was wrong maybe to jump in, it could affect my future ambitions, but I don't see it as that. I don't see it as a risk.
"I see it as another phase in my career. I don't consider it to be going back, I consider it to be very much part of moving forward in my career and the future of Rochdale football club."
Hill's former assistant David Flitcroft is now in charge at Barnsley and the 43-year-old accepts the duo affectionately branded as "Hillcroft" by the Rochdale faithful, must now plough their own furrows.
He added: "Flicker's got to create his own identity and he's got to almost severe himself from me and me from him because it's very much his opportunity, it's his role now and he's got to create his own identity. We're on the phone, we spoke again last night, but now it's very much about our own individual opportunities.
"I'm sure we'll work again, there's no question about that. We worked together as players, we came back together as a management team. We'll do it our own way but I'm sure we'll do it again together - there's no doubt about that in my own mind."
- Sports & Recreation