John Zant

John Zant has been a working journalist in Santa Barbara for over 40 years. After graduating from UCSB with a degree in anthropology, he was hired to cover high school football by the News-Press in the fall of 1968. The diversity of sports in Santa Barbara has kept him occupied ever since, as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. He received numerous awards from the Associated Press for his work,, including a four-part series in 1973 that explored the increasing participation of women and girls in sports. Zant wrote extensively about Olympic sports, focusing on local athletes. He attended the 1972 Summer Games in Munich and subsequently covered six other Olympics for the News-Press: Montreal (1976), Los Angeles (1984), Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004). In the summer of 1988, Zant left the sports beat and embarked on a 110-mile walk along the Santa Barbara County coast from the Santa Maria River mouth to Rincon. The resulting 10-part series was submitted for Pulitzer Prize consideration. He also covered three World Series, three Super Bowls, and a number of NBA Finals games in Los Angeles. Since leaving the News-Press in February of 2007, Zant has written a weekly sports column for The Independent and contributed updates to He is married to Kathleen Rodriguez, another UCSB graduate. Between them, they have six grown children and three grandchildren.

Recent Stories

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Foresters Player of the Week: Chase Illig

Switch-Hitting Catcher Hits Homer, Tallies Five RBIs over Weekend

Switch-hitting catcher hits homer, tallies five RBIs over weekend.

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Game of the Week: San Luis Obispo Blues at S.B. Foresters

Central Coast Rivals Come to Pershing Park to Take On Undefeated Home Team

Central Coast rivals come to Pershing Park to take on undefeated home team.

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Where to Watch the World Cup

How to Have Fun Watching Soccer in Santa Barbara Even Without Team USA

How to have fun watching soccer in Santa Barbara even without Team USA

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Drew Edelman Earns Second Golden Eagle Ring

UCSB Basketballer Achieves Top Athlete GPA; Plus, Track & Field and the State Street Mile

UCSB basketballer achieves top athlete GPA; plus, track & field and the State Street Mile

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Game of the Week: Three Games for Santa Barbara Foresters

Inland Empire Pirates and Healdsburg Packers Play Baseball at Pershing Park

Inland Empire Pirates and Healdsburg Packers play baseball at Pershing Park this weekend.

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Santa Barbara’s Comeback Kids

Three High School Teams Make Miraculous, Late-Inning Wins

Three high school teams make miraculous, late-inning wins.

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Game of the Week: State Street Mile

Sunday Races Begin with Eight Age Groupings and a Family Fun Mile

The Sunday races begin with eight age groupings and a family fun mile.

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Game of the Week: Hawai‘i @ UCSB Baseball

Rainbow Warriors Take on Gauchos in Both Teams’ Last Hurrah for 2018

Rainbow Warriors take on Gauchos in both teams’ last hurrah for 2018.

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Legalized Gambling, Triple Crowns, and Sure Things

On Sports Wagers, Sentimental Horses, and Why to Bet on Justify

On sports wagers, sentimental horses, and why to bet on Justify.

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Egan Bernal Conquers Gibraltar Road

Colombian Kid Riding for Team Sky Wins Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour

Colombian kid riding for Team Sky wins Santa Barbara’s Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour.

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