The year after Hall of Fame quarterback Jeff Wiley finished rewriting the passing records for the Crusader football team, Ciaccio stepped off the sidelines and into the starting role and took aim at the very same records. He started his career off quickly, as he was chosen as the National Player of the Week in his first varsity start in the 1989 season opener against Villanova, setting school single-game records for passing yards (449) and total offense (491) and tying the record for pass completions (31) in the process. That squad finished with a 10-1 record, won the Patriot League Championship, the Lambert Cup and was chosen ECAC Team of the Year as Ciaccio was a First Team All New England selection and Patriot League All Star in the process.
As a junior, he led the Crusaders to a 9-1-1 record, another league championship and ranked eight nationally at season's end. He again achieved All New England honors and was chosen as the conference's Player of the Year on offense. As a senior he was a Second Team All-America selection, while winning the Bulger Lowe Award as the most valuable player in New England. That squad finished with a perfect 11-0 record, was ranked #3 in the country in the final NCAA poll, won another Patriot League crown and was again chosen ECAC Team of the Year.
Despite playing just three seasons, he overtook Wiley for the career touchdown passes record (72), and graduated with the school's second highest career totals in total offense (9,066), pass attempts (1,073), pass completions (658) and passing yards (8,603).