"It kind of caught me off-guard because I had always been in situations where everyone was excited about the team. Then he said to me, 'You've got your work cut out for you.' "
Milovich still sees the man at the YMCA, and recently the man lauded Milovich's work by saying "You guys have done a great job."
But Milovich spends less time reveling in the past than pondering the encouraging future of baseball here.
"It's not about me," he said. "It's about our ownership, our staff and everybody who has worked to make this a reality. The fans who made a push for this long before I got to town.
"Enjoying the city of Charleston and enjoying that ballpark, that's a reward you can't measure. It's hard to walk away from and it's hard to let go."
The South Bend, Ind., native felt confident in his next endeavor because of the Power's front office staff, which includes seasoned General Manager Tim Mueller; assistant GMs Jeremy Taylor (operations) and Kristin Call (marketing); Jeff Meehan, the director of food and beverage; and Adam Marco, the team's broadcaster and director of media relations.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for our ownership group," Milovich said. "I wouldn't feel good about taking off and leaving them if they weren't in great shape. I think, ultimately, they'll be fine without me."
And Milovich might find baseball life better at the beach.
* * *
EXPECT Mike Ryan, a former Major League Baseball player and a coach in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system, to be the West Virginia Power's next manager.
Milovich was mum on the potential hire, instead leaving those announcements to the Pirates.
Sources, however, have indicated that Ryan will likely fill the vacancy.
Ryan, 35, debuted in the Majors with the Minnesota Twins in 2002 and last played in the big leagues with the Los Angeles Angels in 2010. He toiled in the minors for the Pirates in 2011 and moved from player to coach before the 2012 season.
Ryan will replace Rick Sofield, who spent one season as the Power's manager before earning a promotion to the Pirates' big league club as first base coach.
Ryan will be the fourth Power manager in four seasons, following in the footsteps of Gary Green, Gary Robinson and Sofield.
Word is Jeff Johnson, who is entering his sixth season with the Pirates' organization, is set to return as the Power's pitching coach in 2013. Johnson occupied the same position with the Power from 2009-11 before moving to Class AA Altoona last season.
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.