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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Athletes of the Week: Luis Garcia and Isabel Studt

Carpinteria High Soccer and Softball Stars Honored by S.B. Athletic Round Table

Carpinteria High’s soccer and softball stars honored by S.B. Athletic Round Table.

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Wild Winter of Winning Ends Mostly in Losses

High School and College Sports Teams Did Better Than Ever, But Struggled at Very End

Santa Barbara’s high school and college teams did better than ever, but struggled at very end.

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Game of the Week: College Men’s Volleyball

Long Beach State at UCSB on Friday, March 16

Long Beach State at UCSB on Friday, March 16

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January Sadness to March Madness

How Santa Barbara Teams Progressed with Poise and Purpose This Season

How Santa Barbara teams progressed with poise and purpose this season.

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Athletes of the Week: Ben Roach and Joy Krupa

Santa Barbara High Soccer Goalkeeper and Westmont Basketball Forward

Santa Barbara High soccer goalkeeper and Westmont basketball forward.

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Game of the Week: UCSB Baseball vs. Texas State

Gauchos Take on Bobcats in Second of Six Consecutive Weekend Home Stands

Gauchos take on Bobcats in second of six consecutive weekend home stands.

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S.B. Athletic Round Table Athletes of the Week

Piper Smith, Will Yamasaki, Sophie Trumbull, and Jackson Stormo

Piper Smith, Will Yamasaki, Sophie Trumbull, and Jackson Stormo honored Feb. 11 and 18.

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Game of the Week | College Men’s Basketball: Cal Poly @ UCSB

Blue-Green Rivalry Comes to Thunderdome on Saturday, March 3

The Blue-Green Rivalry comes to the Thunderdome on Saturday, March 3.

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Royals Win Water Polo Championship

San Marcos High Girls’ Team Defeats Dos Pueblos; Boys’ Basketball Team Aims for Title Too

San Marcos High girls’ team defeats Dos Pueblos; boys’ basketball team aims for title too.

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San Marcos Girls Beat Dos Pueblos in Water Polo

Royals Pull Out Victory Over Chargers to Win CIF Title

Royals pull out victory over Chargers to win CIF title Saturday night.

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