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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Game of the Week, 11/24/17 | High School Football: Valley View at Dos Pueblos

Chargers Take 11-Game Winning Streak into CIF Division 10 Semifinals

The Chargers take 11-game winning streak into CIF Division 10 semifinals.

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The Sport of Giving Thanks

Gratitude, Speedy Santa Barbarans, and College-Bound Athletes

John Zant on gratitude, speedy Santa Barbarans, and college-bound athletes

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Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon Suddenly Canceled

Hundreds of Runners Disappointed When Race Stopped at Starting Line

Hundreds of runners disappointed when race stopped at starting line.

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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Athletes of the Week

Manny Nwosu, SBCC Football; Lindsey Ruddins, UCSB Volleyball

Manny Nwosu, SBCC football; Lindsey Ruddins, UCSB volleyball

Game of the Week, 11/17/17 | High School Football: Bishop Diego vs. San Marino

Cardinals Will Count on Their Defense

Cardinals will be counting on their defense to give them the edge over the Titans.

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Nine Reasons to Watch UCSB Women’s Basketball

Lady Gauchos Take On Seattle University This Friday

The lady Gauchos will take on Seattle University this Friday.

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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Athletes of the Week

Madison Funk, Ethan Parrish, Jason Teng, and Emma Fraser Honored

Madison Funk, Ethan Parrish, Jason Teng, and Emma Fraser honored October 23-29 and October 30-November 4, 2017.

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UCSB Men’s Basketball Team Takes on North Dakota

Nine Reasons Not to Miss This Game

Zant gives nine reasons folks should not miss this game.

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Golden State Athletic Conference at Westmont

Four-Team Playoff November 9 and 11

Four-team playoff November 9 and 11

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Lawn Bowling Keeps Players for Life

The Challenging, Genteel Sport of Lawn Bowling

Year-round activity is challenging yet genteel.

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