INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Minnesota wrestling lost one of the greats over the weekend in former Simley head coach Jim Short.

After a two year battle with cancer, Jim died Saturday at age 67.

"He volunteered in wrestling for 40 years," said his son, Will Short. "He just gave and gave. He was an amazing man."

KARE 11's Randy Shaver first met Jim in the mid-1980s, and says that during his years covering Minnesota high school wrestling, he never met a kinder, more respected man.

Jim Short was the patriarch of Minnesota's first family of wrestling. He almost single-handedly started Minnesota's freestyle program and along the way taught thousands of kids, including his own, how to be great wrestlers and how to be great people.

Shaver says Short once told him that he wasn't a great student, and if it hadn't been for wrestling, he probably never would have gone to college at St. Cloud State.

But wrestling turned his life around. Jim created a wrestling dynasty at Simley. His son Will took the program over and continues that legacy.

"He's done so much for the sport," says Short. "He taught sportsmanship, respect, and was passionate about seeing students improve not just at Simley, but across the state."

Jim's teams at Simley won five state team titles, and between his four sons and two grandsons, 12 individual state titles.