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

9/23: College Soccer: Menlo at Westmont

Westmont teams go head to head Saturday.

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Fall Football: Braves v. Dons

Lompoc High Trounces Santa Barbara

Lompoc High running back Toa Taua whooshed downfield, leaving S.B. High defenders scattered like loose palm fronds.

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UCSB Men’s Soccer and Women’s Volleyball

Both Teams Continue Season-Long Winless Streaks

Both teams continue their season-long winless streaks.

9/16: High School Football: Lompoc at Santa Barbara

Brave and mighty indeed, the Lompac Braves eye victory

9/8-9/9: College Women’s Volleyball: UCSB Thunderdome Classic

Gauchos long awaited homecoming after two weeks on the road.

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Santa Barbara Triathlon 2017

Dos Pueblos High Alumni Dominate the 37th Annual Event

Dos Pueblos High alumni dominate the winners’ roster at the 37th annual event

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Fall Football Returns

Gridirons See Action as School Year Begins

Gridirons see action as the school year begins.

8/26-8/27: Swim-Bike-Run: Santa Barbara Triathlon

Santa Barbara Triathlon returns for its 36th year.

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Polo High Season in Carpinteria

Horses and Riders Show Their Mad Skills

Horses and riders show their mad skills at the 108-year-old annual event.

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UCSB to Host International Soccer Match

Gauchos Will Play Mexico’s Club América Under-20 Team

The Gauchos will play Mexico’s Club América Under-20 Team.

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