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 independent.com. He is married to Kathleen Rodriguez, another UCSB graduate. Between them, they have six grown children and three grandchildren.

Recent Stories

Tease photo

Dons Girl Golfers End Chargers’ Dominance

Santa Barbara High Drives Past Dos Pueblos’ 19-Year Title-Winning Streak

Santa Barbara High drives past Dos Pueblos’ 19-year title-winning streak.

Tease photo

Athletes of the Week: David Leon and Avalon Gagnon

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors Dos Pueblos Quarterback and S.B. High Volleyballer

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors Dos Pueblos quarterback and S.B. High volleyballer.

Game of the Week: High School Girls’ Volleyball

Flintridge Sacred Heart Comes to Battle the San Marcos Royals on October 18

Flintridge Sacred Heart comes to battle the San Marcos Royals on October 18.

Tease photo

Lompoc Braves Out-Bruising Santa Barbara, Goleta Squads

High School Football Update; Plus, UCSB’s Joe Pasternack Connected to Federal Bribery Probe

High school football update; plus, UCSB’s Joe Pasternack connected to federal bribery probe.

Tease photo

Athletes of the Week: Claire Stotts and James Oriskovich

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors S.B. High Tennis and San Marcos Water Polo Stars

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors S.B. High tennis and San Marcos water polo stars.

Game of the Week: The Master’s at Westmont Women’s Volleyball

Battle Between Top Two Teams in the Golden State Athletic Conference

Battle between top two teams in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Tease photo

L.A. Dodgers Return to Playoffs

Do the Boys in Blue Have Any Chance of Winning the World Series This Year?

Do the Boys in Blue have any chance of winning the World Series this year?

Game of the Week: Lompoc vs. Dos Pueblos Football

Braves and Chargers Showdown at San Marcos Stadium on Friday, October 5

Braves and Chargers showdown at San Marcos Stadium on Friday, October 5.

Tease photo

Athletes of the Week: Melia Haller and Frankie Gamberdella

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors S.B. High Golfer and Quarterback

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors S.B. High golfer and quarterback.

Tease photo

Athletes of the Week: Mikayla Butzke and Rodney Michael

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors Dos Pueblos Volleyballer and UCSB Soccer Star

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors Dos Pueblos volleyballer and UCSB soccer star.

More stories