Bresnan joins new captain Gary Ballance in a triple change at the top of the first team hierarchy, with Andrew Gale having recently been appointed coach.
Yorkshire have not had an official vice-captain for several seasons, with former captain Gale backed by an experienced group of senior players.
But Ballance wanted one of those players as his right-hand man and had no hesitation in plumping for Bresnan.
Speaking from Australia, where he is with Perth Scorchers preparing for their Big Bash final against Sydney Sixers on Saturday, Bresnan said: “Gary phoned me and said, ‘I’ve got to ask you something, mate, would you be vice-captain for me?’
“And I was like, ‘Yes, I’m over the moon’.
“It was a bit of a shock because we haven’t really named one over the past few years; it just came out of the blue.
“I never even thought that Gaz would be having one.
“It does make sense, though, if he gets called up for internationals.
“I’m immensely proud, and it will be great to work with him and Galey. I’ll just do whatever is required of me.”
Bresnan, 31, is a natural choice as an automatic selection in all three formats.
The all-rounder has vast experience and was Yorkshire’s player-of-the-year in 2016.
“Pretty much everyone in the team is in the senior leadership group as it is,” he explained.
“In the past five or six years, we’ve basically just done it like a Chinese parliament.
“We’ve talked through anything that was going wrong and how we were going to improve as a collective, and we’ve done everything as a group really.
“There’s never been any sort of group within that which has sat down separately to discuss things.”
The appointments of Gale and Ballance have created a fresh buzz around Headingley as the club embarks on another new era.
Yorkshire enjoyed great success under the previous coach/captain partnership of Jason Gillespie and Gale, and Bresnan is confident they can keep it going.
“I’m immensely excited for the new season,” he said.
“Whenever there’s change, some people are put off by it, whereas other people see change as a new challenge or chapter.
“I think that’s exactly what we’re going through and what we’ve got; Gaz is going to bring something a little bit different than what Andrew Gale did as captain, and Galey as coach is going to bring something different than what Dizzy (Gillespie) did.
“Change is a good thing as long as you’re all pulling in the same direction, and I think we’ve got the right mix.”
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, is a firm admirer of Bresnan’s qualities.
He believes he is the perfect choice to work with Ballance.
“Tim is a very experienced and mature cricketer and we’re seeing that now with both bat and ball,” said Moxon.
“With his experience of both domestic and international cricket, he’s the ideal vice-captain to work alongside Gary.
“Tim will have a very important role, particularly as that link between the players and the captain.
“As with Gary, he’s got the respect of the dressing room and he’s not afraid to say the harsh words when they need to be said and, at the same time, he is very supportive of his team-mates.”
Bresnan’s immediate focus is on trying to help Perth Scorchers win their third Big Bash title.
He joined them halfway through the tournament as a replacement for county team-mate David Willey, who is with the England team in India, although currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
“I’m loving it,” said Bresnan.
“I’m having so much fun out there on the field, interacting with the fans and stuff, and I’ve had a really good welcome.
“We’re playing good cricket, and hopefully we’re peaking at the right time to win the final.
“Every time you walk on to the field you’re playing in front of a full house, and it’s just been immense.”
Asked what he could bring back to Yorkshire from his Big Bash experience, Bresnan quipped: “We do a thing called ‘beach recovery’, so I don’t think I’ll be bringing that back to Yorkshire.
“Basically, the day after our games or training session, we go down to the beach early in the morning, do a bit of a warm down, maybe run a few ‘k’s or a few shuttles and stuff, and blow the cobwebs off.
“Then we have a swim together in the ocean and have a spot of breakfast, and that’s part of the culture I’ve really enjoyed.
“Unless we’re in Scarborough, I don’t think we’ll be doing that (beach recovery) in Yorkshire,” he joked.