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: Kate Gay and Kade Uyesaka

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors Carpinteria Water Polo Goalie and Dos Pueblos Wrestler

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors Carpinteria water polo goalie and Dos Pueblos wrestler.

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Women Rock at Wrestling, Water Polo, and More

Santa Barbara Celebrates the 33rd National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Santa Barbara celebrates the 33rd National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Game of the Week: The Master’s at Westmont Basketball

Mustangs Come to Battle Warrior Women on Saturday, February 16

The Mustangs come to battle the Warrior women on Saturday, February 16

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Super Bummer Bowl

But There’s Always High School Sports!

Santa Barbara Rams fans lament weak game, high school playoffs commence, and more.

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Athletes of the Week: Juan Carlos Torres and Sophie Leggett

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors S.B. High Soccer Forward and Dos Pueblos Water Polo Star

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors S.B. High soccer forward and Dos Pueblos water polo star.

Games of the Week: CIF Basketball Playoffs

Santa Barbara High Girls and Boys Teams Enter the Postseason

Santa Barbara High girls and boys teams enter the postseason.

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

Anteaters Take on Gauchos in Big-League Game

The Anteaters will take on the Gauchos in this big-league game.

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Athletes of the Week: Anna Cable and Tommy Condon

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors Dos Pueblos Water Polo Goalie and San Marcos Guard

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors Dos Pueblos water polo goalie and San Marcos guard.

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Santa Barbara Cheers Super Bowl–Bound L.A. Rams

Hard-Core and Newbie Fans Unite to Support Los Angeles Against New England

Hard-core and newbie fans unite to support Los Angeles against New England this Sunday.

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Athletes of the Week: Lauren Garnett and Matt Hislop

S.B. Athletic Round Table Honors S.B. High and San Marcos High Soccer Stars

S.B. Athletic Round Table honors S.B. High and San Marcos High soccer stars.

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