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

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Athletes of the Week: Anthony Firestone and Holland Woodhouse

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors S.B High Outfielder and San Marcos Swimmer

The S.B. Athletic Round Table honors S.B High outfielder and San Marcos swimmer.

Game of the Week: 81st Annual Easter Relays

High School Track & Field Showdown on March 23 at La Playa Stadium

The high school track & field showdown is on March 23 at La Playa Stadium.

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Pratima Sherpa’s Amazing Journey

19-Year-Old SBCC Student Aspires to Be First Female Pro Golfer from Nepal

This 19-Year-Old SBCC student aspires to be the first female pro golfer from Nepal.

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Athletes of the Week: Kenzi Snyder and Beau Allen

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors UCSB Water Polo Goalie and San Marcos High Jumper

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors UCSB water polo goalie and San Marcos high jumper.

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Tremendous Tennis at UCSB

Top-Ranked Players Welcome Plans for Arnhold Tennis Center on Campus

Top-ranked players welcome plans for Arnhold Tennis Center on campus.

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Ami Lakoju Aspires to Inspire

Meet the Harlem-Raised UCSB Basketball Player Who Nearly Died on the Court

Meet the Harlem-raised UCSB basketball player who nearly died on the court.

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Athletes of the Week: Maddy Leung and Brent Hyman

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors San Marcos High’s Softball Star and Ace Pitcher

The S.B. Athletic Round Table honors San Marcos High’s softball star and ace pitcher.

Game of the Week: Santa Barbara at San Marcos Baseball

Crosstown High Schools Battle on Backs of Ace Pitchers

Crosstown high schools battle on the backs of their ace pitchers.

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Joby Nuñez: 1948-2019

Coached at All Three High Schools

Athlete, coach, friend, and family man, Joby Nuñez was an outstanding mentor and second father to many.

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Athletes of the Week: Sydney Brown and Logan Hotchkiss

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors Westmont Forward and UCSB Swimmer

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors Westmont forward and UCSB swimmer.

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