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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Swimming Star Narrowly Survives Montecito Mudslide

How the Slides Are Affecting Our Sports Community

How the slides are affecting Santa Barbara’s sports community.

Game of the Week | College Women’s Basketball: UC Davis at UCSB

Gauchos Find Out If They Are Big West Championship Contender January 18

The Gauchos find out if they are a Big West championship contender on January 18.

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Westmont’s Men’s Basketball Coach Hits 500th Win

John Moore Achieves Milestone 24 Years After Becoming Head Coach

John Moore achieves milestone 24 years after becoming head coach.

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S.B. Athletic Round Table Athletes of the Week

Drew Edelman (UCSB Basketball) and Ryan Godges (San Marcos Basketball)

Drew Edelman (UCSB basketball) and Ryan Godges (San Marcos basketball)

Game of the Week | High School Boys’ Basketball: San Marcos at Dos Pueblos

Chargers Host Royals in First Rivalry Game of Year on January 12

The Chargers host the Royals in the first rivalry game of the year on January 12.

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Game of the Week | College Men’s Basketball: UC Riverside at UCSB

Tip-off is scheduled for January 6th at 9pm.

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Gaucho Women Rise from Ashes

Basketball Comebacks, Octogenarian Awesomeness, and Goodbye to Greats

Basketball comebacks, octogenarian awesomeness, and goodbye to greats.

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Matt Organista Brings the Thomas Fire to You

Carpinteria Native Becomes De Facto Information Center During the Blaze

How this Carpinteria native became a de facto information center during the blaze

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Game of the Week | College Women’s Basketball: UCSB vs. San Diego State

Gauchos and Aztecs at The Thunderdome, December 22

The Gauchos Play the Aztecs at The Thunderdome on December 22.

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How Bishop Diego Went On to Become State Champion

Cardinals Beat the Shasta Wolves to Win Title

The Cardinals beat NorCal’s Shasta Wolves to win the title.

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